Mason: ‘Serious actions’ for alcohol abusers

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 24, 2010 7:30 AM

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In a three-page letter to Iowa City city councilors, University of Iowa President Mason said she supported the 21-only bar ordinance and said officials are committed to “serious actions” when it comes to students’ harmful alcohol use.

Mason said the UI will impose harsher sanctions for off-campus drinking. At present, officials suspend students after two alcohol arrests or emergency-room admissions if they occur on campus.

In fall 2010, this system will also apply to select offenses that occur off campus, the letter read.

She said the UI will provide students with more educational materials and require all entering students, not just those directly from high school, to take AlcoholEdu. Officials will also make late-night entertainment opportunities available at such venues as the new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

Mason cited the high rate of harm caused by alcohol in supporting the ordinance.

“As president of the University of Iowa, I support the minimum bar-entry age of 21,” Mason said in the letter. “Our students’ safety and health are profoundly threatened by the relationship some have with alcohol. I am firmly convinced that a minimum bar-entry age of 21 will reduce that threat.”

She said changes will affect the “culture” of the UI.

“We are also confident that a change in the minimum bar-entry age will contribute to a change in the University of Iowa’s image,” Mason said. “We are not proud of our reputation as a party school. It works against our efforts to recruit students who are serious about their studies.”

— by Sam Lane

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