UW - Stevens Point still in early stages for alcohol restriction - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UW - Stevens Point still in early stages for alcohol restrictions

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

Alcohol has been thought of as a part of the college life.

"Alcohol can bring a lot of students together, I know I met a lot of my friends that I first met freshman year through alcoholic experiences," said UW - Stevens Point Senior Elizabeth Wetzel.

But administrators at UW - Stevens Point said that may be changing on their campus.

"We have seen an increase or a tick up of drinking, not just on this campus, but nationally," said Student Affairs Administrator Al Thompson.

Officials at the university said possible limits have been discussed since 2011.

Over the summer, the school's task force looked at studies showing campus drinking trends.

"The studies are showing fewer cases of alcohol abuse, but those cases that do occur are extreme," said Thompson.

Major concerns were raised this spring, after a student's body was pulled from the Wisconsin River.

Investigators said the student had been out drinking, celebrating his 21st birthday.

"You think these freshman are 18, 19, and 20, and they haven't maybe reached their drinking, where they can manage it or anything, so they're going to do something wreckless," said Wetzel.

"Once you start banning in one place, the behavior goes somewhere else, so if you ban in the residence halls they'll go off campus or they'll drive to a place to drink," said Thompson.

Sarah Mark is a sophomore at UW - Stevens Point and works at The Bruehaus on campus. It's a spot for coffee or for a beer.

"I see a lot of people unwinding from the week and meeting with professors and it seems to be a positive thing down here," said Mark.

That freedom is something administrators said they will consider.

"We have to look at every angle before we make those decisions, that's why it is a little premature to say that we have made that decision," said Thompson.

For now, students over 21 can enjoy a beer on campus and officials said they've still got a lot of work left to do.

Administrators said any ban or policy change wouldn't start until early July 2013.

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