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Stanford Students Vote On Alcohol Ban In Undergraduate Housing

STANFORD (KPIX) -- Responding to Stanford University president John L. Hennessy's proposal to ban hard alcohol in undergraduate housing, students on Friday voted against it, with many saying it would only create a bigger problem with over-drinking.

"We can drink in the rooms as long as we keep the doors open and that applies to all housing on campus," said sophomore Cole Simmons.

Simmons is part of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity and lives in campus housing.

He was one of thousands of students who received the president's e-mail last month that asked students for solutions to drinking problems on campus. President Hennessy explained there were too many instances of undergraduates over-drinking, and that hard alcohol has been connected to many problems, including sexual assault.

Recently, a jury found a Stanford swimmer guilty of raping a drunk woman during a party on campus.

"I think you're kidding yourself if you think that kids aren't going to buy hard alcohol," said senior Myles Keating, who is also part of Theta Delta Chi. "It's absolutely right that we're discussing sexual assault and discussing alcohol use and making sure that it's healthy and happy but an outright ban is taking a law-enforcement approach to what is really a medical problem."

A Stanford spokesperson said it was too premature to comment and would not provide numbers on alcohol-related cases or calls. She said university officials are still collecting feedback from students on solutions.

But Keating and Simmons said tougher restrictions on alcohol not the way to fix the problems.

Both said the relationship between students and resident advisers, who are tasked to watch over them in student housing, is a healthy and open one. However, if a booze ban were put in place, they believe it would turn RAs into cops.

"If there's a ban on hard alcohol then people are going to have it anyway," Simmons said. "At a lot of other schools, talking to my friends, they're kind of scared of their RAs; they're scared their RAs are going to take their alcohol and pour them down the sinks and so they always do it with a closed door, trying to chug all their hard alcohol or beer before the RA could get to them."

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