Members discuss alcohol use
By HELENA PAYNE
Members of the task force on alcohol use at off-campus bars decided that alcohol consumption by students is too broad of an issue for one task force at the Campus Life Council meeting Monday.
"We're not sure as our viability of our task force as a whole," said Fisher Hall senator Dan Barabas.
Sister Mary Ann Mueninghoff, rector of Pasquerilla East said the problem is not just off-campus drinking at bars, but limited off-campus recreational options as well.
"I thought I'd like to cast my energy to another task force," said Mueninghoff.
She said after the recent Finnigan's bust, the task force began to realize the extent of the problem. The bust resulted in the citations of 147 minors, mostly Notre Dame and Saint Mary's students.
"It simply reminded us that it could've been Boat Club. It could have been Benchwarmers," said Mueninghoff referring to other local bars. "The problem is not going to go away."
Dillon Hall senator Brendan Dowdall said that although alcohol consumption remains a problem on campus, students still need a place to go to off-campus.
"Students have a want, the need, the drive to change their scenery," said Dowdall.
Other than movie theaters and bars, Dowdall said the South Bend community lacks recreational places that interest Notre Dame students. He suggested that the University develop some of its property around the University into commercial space that would cater to students.
"The University can benefit from turning that land into commercial space," said Dowdall.
"I know this is kind of far-reaching … but that would be ideal."
Lewis Hall senator Luciani Reali said the University could work with businesses that are already established in the South Bend area such as bowling alleys or popular hangouts like Lula's Café.
"We can work with the places that already exist and give students incentives to go," said Reali.
She said the incentives would be beneficial to the places by increasing business and to the students by giving them additional options for off-campus recreation.
Members also discussed existing on-campus recreational places such as Alumni-Senior Club and Recker's.
"[Recker's] is more popular than ever now," said student body president Brian O'Donoghue.
Although members had reservations about opening up another bar because of possible inconsistency with the University's mission, they brainstormed many ideas about altering Alumni-Senior Club.
"Responsible recreation has got to be an important part of the University's mission," said philosophy professor and Faculty Senate representative Edward Manier.
Father Dave Scheidler, rector of St. Edward's Hall said responsible, non-alcoholic recreation rarely attracts many students.
St. Ed's recently had a dance and aside from having less than half of the dorm participate, Scheidler said students didn't want to stop drinking and leave their rooms to walk over to the dance at the Center for Social Concerns.
"Unfortunately [students] have fallen into the trap of what society tells them, that the only fun thing to do is to drink," said Scheidler. "We need to put our energy and efforts into what we do best, and that is educate."
Judicial Council president Tony Wagner agreed that many students would drink even if non-alcoholic events or businesses were provided.
"Don't underestimate the fact that these students are coming into the University ingrained with the `Animal House' culture," said Wagner referring to a movie that glamorized the college party lifestyle.
In other CLC News
u The CLC voted to pass the 24-hour space resolution with a few amendments that slightly changed the wording of the previous resolution. Vice president of the Office of Student Affairs Father Mark Poorman wrote the CLC and said that he had reviewed the resolution and believes it will help clear up confusion about the rules in 24-hour spaces.
u The task force for service, tenure and promotion plans to have focus groups that look at various issues related to the task force. Also, the group will initiate discussion between undergraduate deans and students about the various colleges.
"Next semester is going to be a kickoff time for us," said O'Donoghue.
u The task force for consistent residence hall policies received 66 percent of the surveys they sent out about rules in the residence halls.
"It is pretty clear that there are some serious discrepancies," said Walsh Hall rector Sister Pat Thomas.
All News Stories for Tuesday, December 5, 2000