New University Policy Reveals Distrust in Student Body

Posted by at 12:13AM

NEWS FLASH: Gone are the days when Row houses can openly use the social dues for alcohol.

For those of you who, in the midst of the “easy” class list drama, have neglected to read the Daily’s other articles, they recently published an article regarding the University’s decision to refuse to allow Row houses to use their social dues for alcohol.  Essentially, the University changed their policy (read:ResEd wanted the Row house policies to be more like the rest of the dorms) so that underage students couldn’t effectively buy alcohol through the University.

Furthermore, according to the Daily article, “ResEd is also hiring a new staff member for the Row Office; this staffer’s job will be responsible for scanning weekly receipts turned in by FMs.”  This to me was the most shocking part of the article.  Here at Stanford, students are expected to abide by the Honor Code and the Fundamental Standard, which reads as follows.

“Students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the University such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the University.”

I was always under the impression that, like with the Honor Code, we were trusted to obey the Fundamental Standard, and so the University did not take extreme measures to ensure that we followed the rules.  Yet, it seems that the University is expecting the Row House FMs (financial managers) to disobey this policy change, thus requiring the staff addition.

My general impression of students at Stanford is that we are not rule-breakers, whether or not that is a good thing or not is up for argument.  We have spent our entire lives taking the classes we are supposed to take, studying for the SAT just like we were supposed to, and in general doing the things people wanted us to do.  I don’t really see much departure from that now that we have arrived in college.  Does the University really expect the Row House FM’s to go rogue and attempt to use social dues to pay for alcohol despite the policy change?  I am guessing that that would amount to a pretty serious Fundamental Standard violation, something that the great majority of Stanford students try to avoid procuring. Furthermore, FM’s are student staff.  S-T-A-F-F. They are paid.  Most Stanford students take their jobs very seriously.  We are students with bright futures.  I doubt FM’s would want to explain being fired to future employers.

Despite this, the University is apparently convinced that, even though the FMs could ask for voluntary contributions to an alcohol fund, they will try to trick the University into continuing to pay for their booze.  They are so convinced that they need to hire a new staffer whose SOLE purpose is checking receipts.  Really, Stanford?

Furthermore, as a note, on the policy in general, I sincerely doubt that this is going to prevent the Row Houses from buying alcohol.  Now social dues will just be paid in cash, so that they can be used at the FM’s discretion.  Or if that isn’t allowed, social dues will plummet and instead students will be asked to voluntarily contribute to a slush fund.  Both these options are just as bad as before.  The University gains the fact that it is no longer essentially paying for the alcohol of under-aged students; however, it loses oversight, making it LESS safe than before.

However regardless of whether the policy change increases student wellness or decreases it, this policy indicates a general distrust of its students and refusal to acknowledge students as responsible adults.  They trust us not to cheat during tests.  They trust us to make informed decisions regarding drinking.  Yet they don’t trust hired student staff to carry out their jobs correctly. Mixed messages much?

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2 Responses to “New University Policy Reveals Distrust in Student Body”

  1. Quinn Slack says:

    Another negative consequence: frats will become a more important part of the social scene on campus, since they do have a way of forcing their residents to pay for alcohol.

  2. So true says:

    I don’t think any FM would run the risk, for fear of retribution not just on them but their residents. On top of that, students are crafty–everyone knows the alternative now, anyway. It just flabbergasts me that, with all the talk of needing to examine alcohol policies, this is the way the university responds to it (at least partly). It’s the same case as sex ed or condom distribution; in all cases, not providing it does NOT HAVE AN EFFECT (other than weakening your oversight). Like sex, alcohol has pretty inelastic demand among college students.

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