Anderson University president, Dr. James L. Edwards, along with administrators from the Department of Student Life participated in a discussion forum with students last evening to provide information about a long-held campus policy regarding the consumption of alcohol. The discussion forum was convened by the Student Government Association and was an event scheduled many weeks ago for the benefit of the university campus.
The president shared with the students how policy decisions are developed and evaluated. During the discussion, the president indicated that Anderson University alcohol policy was approved by the Board of Trustees. It is this group that is the governing body of the university regarding matters of policy. He further indicated that Anderson University’s current policy is rooted in the school’s historical ties to its sponsoring church, the Church of God. [Photo by Don Knight, The Herald Bulletin]
During the meeting, a variety of student opinions were shared and responded to by President Edwards, Dr. Brent Baker (vice president for Student Life) and Tim Johnson (associate dean of students). Each panelist indicated that Anderson University’s policy regarding alcohol is designed to enhance the quality of the institution’s shared community life and that many students and their families are a part of the campus because they desire an academic environment not focused on alcohol.
The existing policy that was the focus of last night’s discussion forum states that: The purchase, possession, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs by any student on or off campus is prohibited. Individuals who drink alcoholic beverages off campus and return to campus will be subject to disciplinary action. Alcoholic beverage containers found in rooms, automobiles, etc., will be considered as evidence of drinking by the occupants. Alcoholic beverage containers, posters, and other items advertising alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Students annually receive a copy of the university policy on drugs and alcohol from the Department of Student Life.
Supporting rationale for Anderson University’s current policy is one of campus safety. President Edwards indicated that the number one problem on college campuses across the country (secular or faith-based) is alcohol abuse. The policy prohibits the consumption of a dangerous substance and reduces availability of environments and situations that can lead to injury, fatality, drunken driving and other risky behavior.
"What is and remains primary is our commitment to provide the best possible education for our students within a culture defined by and supportive of our Christian faith,” said President Edwards. “Introducing alcohol into this university community, or adding to its availability, is one of the most destructive distractions to our life and mission together. It is a problem present on virtually every campus, secular or religious. We will do all we can to minimize its presence and its impact on our students.”
The university policy regarding alcohol consumption remains in place; however, there was a general recognition and an interest in further opportunities for dialog and exchange. For more information about the Anderson University alcohol policy, please visit the following links:
Anderson Herald Bulletin: AU stands by alcohol policy
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.