Section: News

Office of Student Engagement changes Social Events policy

On Monday, the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) announced various changes to last semester’s policies regarding Social Events With Alcohol (SEWAs) via email, a response to feedback from the student body. The email clarified that two SEWAs are allowed on campus each Friday and Saturday night, a change from last semester’s policy of one. However, the policy does not allow for multiple SEWAs to occur at the same time. 

According to Director of Student Engagement Caleb Young, the fall 2023 SEWA policies were initially updated to address several concerns from prior years. At the start of the 2023-24 academic year, student organizations were newly required to register 10 business days in advance of proposed SEWAs, a policy which extended to any SEWAs hosted by student organizations on private property or off-campus spaces. 

“This timeline was established after numerous conversations last academic year with our partners in Campus Safety, Maintenance and Facilities and other Student Affairs partners in an effort to ensure these events properly meet all safety and risk management policies,” Young wrote in an email to the Collegian. In addition to the increased timeline, the fall semester’s policy mandated that only one registered SEWA could occur on campus per approved night.

After hearing from a number of different students and organizations in the fall concerning challenges with increased restrictions on SEWAs, OSE approached campus partners to address these concerns. Though the 10-day registration period remains the same, the new policy allows for two SEWAs to occur on the same night. However, the policy requires that a minimum of one hour must exist between the closing of the first event and opening of the second. 

According to Young, these recent changes were implemented to increase student organizations’ abilities to host both closed events, such as bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) gatherings, along with all-campus SEWAs on the same evening. Further changes to the SEWA policies include  the addition of the upper level Horn Gallery as an approved space to host closed BYOB events, an increase in BYOB event maximum capacity from 100 to 120 “in order to better accommodate student organizations with large rosters” and the elimination of a rule requiring Social Hosts for sponsoring student organizations to be over 21. 

“These changes were made to ensure that all of our student organizations are working under the same set of expectations and to better ensure our students are safely gathering in social settings,” Young wrote. 

Apart from policy changes to SEWAs, OSE also announced a new student organization platform, KCon, to increase communication between student organizations and the administration. The platform allows organizations to more easily create and renew their club, register for SEWAs and connect directly with OSE. According to the email, future updates to KCon will allow student organizations to reserve locations directly for events, access their Business and Finance Committee expenses and request additional funding if necessary.

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