Stellenbosch University bans alcohol in residences temporarily. Why? Because of a culture of binge-drinking and two horrifying incidents last year.
Related: How to stop drinking alcohol
Stellenbosch University has now entered “the Prohibition Era” where it has banned alcohol and alcohol consumption on its university properties. pic.twitter.com/klhSmrqnWi
— Luke Waltham⁷ (@lukewaltham) January 27, 2020
Booze is banned at Maties residences. Well, for now anyway. Stellenbosch University is fighting alcohol abuse and gender-based violence, News24 reports. This temporary ban has been in place since the beginning of the year. Here are the two incidents that sparked it.
Two recent horrifying incidents
In the first incident, a student died after reportedly choking in his sleep after a night out. The specifics of his death are unclear. He was hospitalised and eventually taken off life support. The university brief reads:
‘But there had been speculation that he had consumed a lot of alcohol, and also rumours that there was some kind of drinking game or ritual or residence tradition involved.’
The second incident – or broader issue – is gender-based violence. The university elaborates:
‘The second example is something that has been in the news a lot over the past months and continues to be a strong focus at SU [Stellenbosch University] and actually nationwide and globally – gender-based violence. In other words, sexual assault, harassment and rape perpetrated by men against women.’
This assumes there is a link between rape and alcohol. The university is in talks with students about GBV. And the Anti-GBV Movement SU has drawn up a memorandum.
Creating safer spaces
Ultimately, the university is trying to make campus a safer space for students:
‘We have to now step up and take ownership of how we are going to combat the difficulties that make our living and learning communities unsafe and unwelcoming spaces for many of our students and newcomers.’
Stellenbosch Uni is reviewing its residence rules. And while they are reviewing the rules, no student may drink alcohol in student accommodation.
Disciplinary action for breaking the rules
So, the question has to be asked. What if they do it anyway? It will result in a “residence disciplinary matter”.
How long will this rule stay in place? They don’t know yet. The ban will remain until the new res rules are made:
‘These rules stay in place until new residence rules that have the positive impact of changing the binge-drinking culture to a culture where drinking limits consumers’ blood alcohol content to 0.08%, are agreed upon.’
They are pretty serious about stopping the binge-drinking. In the meantime, the university is engaging students on this issue.
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