During a brief meeting on Wednesday night, ASG senators passed next year’s operating budget and President Nehaarika Mulukutla announced an upcoming town hall on NU’s new alcohol policy.
The town hall will take place on May 31 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. All students are welcome to attend to hear from various University officials such as Dean of Students Todd Adams about the new alcohol policy likely being instituted for next year, and give their input. During their campaign, Mulukutla and ASG Executive Vice President Rose Gambrah identified ending Northwestern’s dry campus policy as one of their goals, as they believe having an environment that doesn’t allow safe alcohol consumption can often push students to unsafe spaces or unsafe behaviors in order to drink.
While Northwestern is not formally a dry campus, Mulukutla explained at the meeting that drinking is frowned upon in most areas on campus and therefore students often behave as if there is a formal dry-campus policy in place. However, a new policy proposed by the administration would allow alcohol consumption for students 21 and over at certain campus events if the event was approved by Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin. These rules were selectively implemented at certain functions this year; for example, Telles-Irvin approved A&O Blowout in the fall as an event that could sell alcohol.
“If you’re 21 and you want to consume alcohol, there should be safer and more accessible avenues to do so,” Mulukutla said during the meeting. “No matter who you are, if you want to consume alcohol, you should be able to do that safely.”
If the policy is implemented on a larger scale next year, Mulukutla said things such as having a beer garden at Dillo, which is happening this year, could be a long-term possibility*. She hopes to expand this policy into both Greek life events and dorms in the future.
After discussing the town hall, senators turned to the budget for the next academic year. The proposed funding allocations passed unanimously with no debate.
Next year’s budget is largely similar to last year’s, with one change of shifting $2,500 from the student groups incentives fund to the Wild Ideas fund. The student group incentives fund rewards groups if they host events with any of the following: a pay what you can option for attendees (usually in the form of an optional donation), a “green” component such as not using paper or offering local/organic options, or a social justice element like identity expression or facilitating dialogue. The Wild Ideas fund, which gives money to unique organizations or groups just starting out, has a much higher demand and so ASG updated the budget accordingly.
The total amount of money ASG will allot for next year totals $73,650, which is the same as last year. In addition to the student group incentives and Wild Ideas fund, ASG also uses those funds for programs and initiatives like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day honorarium speaker, the Evanston Engagement Grant for students who want to serve the local community and for conference funding that allows Northwestern to participate in Associated Big Ten conferences and other related events, among others.
*Editor's Note: This story was updated on May 11 at 1:50 p.m. to clarify that this year's Dillo Day will have a beer garden, regardless of whether the new alcohol policy is implemented on a larger scale for the future.