Roger Williams University defends building a bar on campus

(October 23, 2013, Bristol, RI) – The president of Roger Williams University (RWU), Donald J. Farish, announced the addition of a bar in north campus in an email yesterday. Building will start on June 1, 2014.

Drinking and driving has progressively become more of an issue at RWU. In the past two years, there have been seven arrests specifically because students were driving after drinking at the local bars.

President Farish says he has come up with a solution, “A bar will provide a safe place where students who are 21 can enjoy a drink, spend time with their classmates and walk back to their dorm or a friend’s dorm safely.”

Farish states that, “Safety is a top priority; all alcohol intake will be regulated, bar tenders will be trained RWU staff and there will be RWU security inside and outside the bar. Because we are providing a safe place to drink, there will be a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. All students will be required to sign a contract when they turn 21, agreeing to expulsion as a punishment if they are caught drinking and driving on or off campus.”

According to head public safety officer, Joe Smith, additional safety precautions are being taken to make sure alcohol intake is regulated and all students have a safe ride home.

All hard alcohol will stop being served at 9 PM, bar tenders will be intensely trained on when to cut students off, shuttles will run every half hour to take students living in the Bristol area home and at least two public safety cars will be out front to offer students a ride home who live farther away.

Students have often complained about a lack of options, “There is not a safe place on campus for all of the people who are 21 to hang out and drink together. As seniors we want to spend our last year together and the only option is going to the bar because it is impossible to fit everyone in an on campus apartment. Even when we attempt a party with all of age students, it is quickly broken up by RA’s because of capacity regulations” said senior Ken Cheston.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive; students, parents, and staff members have expressed their gratitude and appreciation for a safe place for of age students to drink on campus.

Roger Williams University is a leading private, coeducation university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions. The university is located in Bristol, Rhode Island, above Mount Hope Bay. The university has been constantly improving and growing since it was founded in 1956. The university is small with about 5,000 undergraduate students and is focused on students becoming community- and globally-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning.

For more information please contact, please contact Alyssa Brangi at 860-304-4325.