UK examining alcohol policy

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Associated Press

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 7:02 AM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 7:02 AM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A task force has been appointed to study the alcohol policy at the University of Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/16Y9Bwq) reports President Eli Capilouto made the appointments on Tuesday of 15 university officials and community members.

The panel, called the Work Group on Student Health and Safety, will examine the current ban on alcohol and factors leading to alcohol abuse and ways to prevent it.

Capilouto said last year he was interested in possibly changing the university's alcohol policy. The comment came after community groups complained that the campus ban led more students to drink in surrounding neighborhoods.

"We realize we're an institution that is intimately tied to Lexington," said Robert Mock, UK's vice president for student affairs. "I think we need to look at some data and research and see what's done at other institutions to come up with a model that is the best fit for the university and the city of Lexington."

Mock said recent incidents have led to the review. He noted two high-profile events including alcohol-related problems that led to a temporary ban on some tailgating at UK football games and public celebrations of the 2012 NCAA title by the UK men's basketball team that led to arrests and property damage.

"It's no secret that those were not positive things that we would not like to see reoccur," he said. "We're going to investigate and see what comes out of the discussion."

Mock and UK vice president for finance and administration Eric Monday will co-chair the panel, which will also include nine other university employees, two city officials, two officials with Bluegrass Community and Technical College, a neighborhood representative and a student.

"Colleges have a duty and responsibility to translate new knowledge into the creation and implementation of effective best practice policies to facilitate responsible alcohol use and reduce the harmful effects of alcohol misuse," Capilouto said in a statement. "Universities cannot alone resolve the alcohol problems among students. Comprehensive and coordinated interventions at the individual, campus and community level are the most effective strategies."

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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