April 13, 2024

Off-Campus Housing Senator Sean Oberschlake, ’16, is in the midst of developing a proposal which would suggest lifting the ban on beer kegs from campus. As of now, the Wittenberg Alcohol Policy bans the “distribution of any alcoholic beverage from a common source (i.e. mixed drinks or punch bowls, beer balls, etc.) and/or keg.”
Oberschlake said he was prompted to explore the change after being approached by a group of upperclassmen who were curious about the purpose behind the ban.
“Honestly, I could not give them a good answer to their question,” he explained. “This prompted me to look into it a little more, evaluating our campus culture, policies and alcohol abuse stats.”
While constructing his proposal, Oberschlake is seeking research that addresses how drinking habits change when kegs are not permitted on campus.
“Scholars only tend to focus on the negative impact that it had, but tend to leave out completely the aftermath of what happens,” he said. “That aftermath being the spike in liquor use.”
For his part, Oberschlake thinks allowing keg use will have a positive impact on both the on- and off-campus communities.
“I believe it will change not only our drinking habits for the better, but it will promote a more environmentally-friendly campus,” Oberschlake explained. “Wittenberg in the past has been on the top liberal arts party schools in the nation . . . we have groups that have big drinking nights (nights with at least one or more big parties) every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday . . . That is a lot of beer cans or glass, which you can see all over West College.”
Oberschlake also argued that students often turn to hard liquor with higher alcohol content as a result of the ban.
Chief of the Wittenberg Police Division James Hutchinson said that he “would like to review a proposal before offering an opinion.”
While Oberschlake has not completed the proposal as of yet, he says he has looked into Kenyon College’s keg policy, in which parties with kegs are registered by the university.

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