The Undergraduate Council last night approved a two-pronged approach to the imminent College crackdown on underage drinking, resolving to enforce the minimum drinking age while bolstering campus parties.
The resolution was adopted unanimously by the council in its first regular meeting of the year. It contained three proposals to restrict drinking to students 21 or older and three proposals to help enliven drier house parties.
The recommendations will be presented to a meeting of the house masters and Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 on Wednesday, when a new alcohol policy announcement is expected. Last week Jewett asked the council to help formulate the new policy.
The enforcement procedures endorsed by the council would: require officials to check identification at the door of all house parties; to stamp the hands of students who could drink; and to require a hand stamp to get alcohol.
The council specifically rejected the possibility of requiring specially issued identity cards to allow students to drink.
The three recommendations for improving house life were: that the College establish a sizable social fund for house parties; that house committees be allowed to serve alcohol at campus-wide parties; and that the committees be allowed to purchase temporary liquor permits to charge for parties with alcohol.
The University decided earlier this month that it would minimize its vulnerability to liability suits by tightening its restictions on drinking. Until a new policy is implemented, Jewett has asked for a moratorium on alcohol at public parties.
Until Massachusetts raised the minimum drinking age to 21 this summer, the College allowed strictly in-house parties to serve alcohol without checking students ages. Campus-wide parties could not serve alcohol, and no parties could charge for alcohol.
Jewett, who attended last night's meeting, said during the meeting that he approved of the council's three enforcement suggestions and expected to make a formal decision at this Wednesday's meeting. But the proposals dealing with house life would have to be considered in more detail at a later date, he said.
"I start from the thesis that I admit might not be valid, but I would hope alcohol is not the basis of social life and house life," Jewett said after the meeting.
But council members felt that banning underage drinking could seriously hurt House cohesion as students go off campus in search of liquor or hold private parties.
"We're not demanding that they fund our social life; we like to think this is to compensate for some very bad consequences. This is the best thing we see to help maintain cohesion," said Richard S. Eisert '88, chairman of the Residential Life Committee which drafted the resolution.
Jewett said he personally had no reservations, but said masters might object to the house life suggestions. "My instinct is there could be some problems [with granting temporary licenses]," Jewett said.
In other action last night, the council allocated $800 to the freshman perfect program to help prefects hold study breaks. The prefect program, which benefits about 800 freshmen, was initiated this year to give first-year students more contact with upperclassmen, but was not funded by the College.