New policy changes announced for U-Fest

Anya Dussault, News Editor

Several changes will be coming to this year’s U-Fest: the quantity of alcohol permitted for students will be reduced from 12 cans to six cans, or 750 mL of wine; there will be no re-entry allowed for students at the event; and music will end at 12:30 a.m., rather than at 1 a.m.

U-Fest, a BYOB-style event held outside in the Bayside 200s each spring semester, is the only event during which the university’s open container policy is not in effect. Juniors and seniors are allowed to purchase tickets to this popular campus tradition. 

This year’s changes to the event were announced by  Vice President of Student Life John J. King at a Monday, April 9 Student Senate meeting. 

Event organizers were concerned that some aspects of U-Fest, such as its previous allowance of up to 12 beers for person, could facilitate unhealthy levels of drinking.   

The music will end earlier than usual due to noise complaints from residents of Bristol and the surrounding area.  

King initially opened the floor to a discussion among student leaders on campus in January at the Winter Organization Retreat, where participants plan for their group’s upcoming semester. He was seeking opinions on how the administration can improve the event while also making it as safe as possible. 

In March, King attended a Student Senate meeting and shared that the Division of Student Life was working on ways to adapt U-Fest, but wasn’t certain as to how these changes would be approached.

As an additional safety policy, Student Affairs Personnel, Public Safety, and Bristol Police monitor the event each year to ensure that students are consuming alcohol safely. The Health and Wellness Educators (HAWEs) on campus also work to educate students on what is a healthy amount of alcohol to consume in a certain period of time.

“It comes to the point where, I don’t care how [much you weigh] or how much you think you can drink; it’s not healthy to consume twelve beers in three hours,”  said senior and Student Body President Jacob Brostuen.

The no glass policy will continue to be in effect for the event, but the Division plans to disperse information to Student Senators and Inter-Class Council officers regarding where students might be able to purchase boxed wine. The Division is researching different locations in the area in preparation for the demand that they are expecting for wine that does not come in the form of a glass bottle.

“The only concern that I do have is if students view the quantity limit as a possible avenue to consume more before they come to the event,” Brostuen said, noting that he believes the changes being made to the event are reasonable.

Brostuen concluded, “I just see these steps as necessary in order to ensure that we can continue to keep up this event.”

U-Fest is scheduled for Saturday, April 28.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated that juniors and seniors aged 21+ can purchase tickets for U-Fest. Juniors and seniors can purchase tickets for U-Fest regardless of their age.