UM using mail, Internet and word of mouth to spread new alcohol policy

OXFORD Miss.

University of Mississippi officials are making sure students and football fans know the new campus alcohol policy.

The policy is posted online, is being sent by mail and told to students in person.

The university sent out 90,000 postcards to football season ticket holders and those who come to occasional games.

The cards say people must be 21 or older to drink. Alcoholic beverages are to be kept out of sight while on campus, and county law prohibits beer at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the Grove and the circle.

New students have until Monday to complete an online alcohol education program.

Five Ole Miss students already found in violation of the policy have been suspended.

“Our goal is not to see how many students we can kick out of school … or to see how many people we can catch,” said Scott Wallace, the assistant dean of students who handles judicial issues. “The goal is to protect and educate and try to do what we can to help students become adults while they are here at the university while changing the culture.”

Like other schools across the state and the country, Ole Miss is working to cut down on the number of students who consume alcohol irresponsibly.

Ole Miss began its policy in November and targets not only those living on the Oxford campus but also includes a postcard program for those who might visit.

The school also will run ads in the student newspaper and on radio stations on game days, said Jeff Alford, associate vice chancellor of university relations.

According to Ole Miss’ Web site, nonstudents who violate the policy “may be subject to civil liability and/or criminal prosecution as well as other consequences at the discretion of the university. Such consequences may include limiting one’s access to campus or campus events and losing season ticket privileges, among other things.”

Students who commit an alcohol offense, such as underage possession or driving under the influence, are referred to counseling and have a disciplinary hearing. They are then put on probation for at least a year. If they have another alcohol violation during that period, a second strike, they are suspended from school.

Students and parents attending orientation this summer spent about an hour in a session with a university attorney and dean explaining the new policies to them and educating them about alcohol consumption and binge drinking, according to a http://www.clarionledger.com article.

Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

– Associated Press



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