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Monday, August 15, 2022

UW unveils changes to alcohol policy for university events

The University of Wisconsin-Madison introduced a new alcohol policy for UW-sponsored events Thursday, including three major changes to the individual permit process.

University Health Services Director Sarah Van Orman said the policy is directed at monitoring alcohol served by campus organizations such as the Union and UW Athletics. It also supervises individuals who want to host sponsored events involving the distribution of alcohol; these individuals are required to apply for a permit to do so.

Van Orman said the task force includes three major changes to this permit process.

Individuals applying for a permit will be required to designate “responsible employee” who will be held accountable and will also be subjected to additional training requirements.

Van Orman said the policy is also meant to clarify that university events held off campus are still considered university events and are required to follow the same policies.

This area of the policy largely stemmed from a situation with John Chadima at the Rose Bowl in December 2011 where the former senior athletic director hosted a party involving alcohol served to students and staff who were not yet 21. Later on, sexual allegations surfaced against Chadima’s behavior at the party.

“That made everyone say, “‘We need to take a look at this,’” Van Orman said.

The third significant change is a requirement that at least two-thirds of the people attending the event must be able to legally consume alcohol.

“If you’re hosting an event and most of the people there aren’t able to consume alcohol, then it’s probably inappropriate to serve it,” Van Orman said.

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