Underage Drinking & the Law

What parents need to know now about the new Social Host Laws

VIDEO: Eugene, Oregon eyes Social Host ordinance: University students plan protest

University of Oregon students created a video to explain the current situation in Eugene and their point-of-view on the new proposed Social Host Ordinance. (Credit: Joseph Stefan, Nickolaus W. Schwarz and Stacie Lewis)

Eugene, Oregon’s city council is holding a public hearing at 7:30pm on November 19 to discuss a new Social Host ordinance that would penalize hosts if a party gets out of control and police are called. This ordinance would not apply exclusively to underage drinking parties but to any parties in which “…five or more people were present at a party where alcohol is served and there were two or more offenses taking place, such as excessive noise, drinking in public, disorderly conduct or public urination”, according to the local newspaper, The Register Guard.

The Eugene city council voted to hold the public meeting against the wishes of  South Eugene Councilor Betty Taylor and the president of the Associated Students at the University of Oregon, Laura Hinman, both of whom asked for a delay so the University students and administration might give input and attempt to address the problem locally.

City Councilor Alan Zelenka, who represents the community that encompasses the university, noted that residents have been complaining about noise from students’ parties, and have been threatening to move out of the neighborhood.

According to The Oregon Commentator, a journal published by self-described politically conservative students at UO, there is a petition to oppose the SHO and they are planning both a rally an hour before the city council meets and a protest at the city council meeting.  They are hoping to gather 100 students to attend the council meeting “in order to show the city council that the student body opposes this ordinance.”

A party ordinance already exists in Eugene. The new ordinance is stricter and provides steeper penalties.

3 comments on “VIDEO: Eugene, Oregon eyes Social Host ordinance: University students plan protest

  1. Robin
    November 9, 2012

    I believe it says that landlords will be responsible to pay unpaid fines after the third offense. Any predictions on how that might affect real estate values and rental costs? Why not legalize marijuana….fewer brawls among stoners.

  2. princessbea
    November 8, 2012

    While I appreciate the students’ efforts to tell their side of the story, I do not find it a compelling argument to complain about their having to pay attention to the size and noise level of their house parties. Or to say that since they don’t have jobs, they should not have to pay steep fines. Deeper thought and more consideration could go into arguing against the proposed restrictions: a more conciliatory tone, a pledge to work with neighbors to inform/invite them prior to parties, limiting the amount of alcohol provided at/brought into the party, and telling guests and neighbors that the party will have a specific end time. Those are a few ways to stay out of trouble with the law.

    • HM Epstein
      November 8, 2012

      Princessbea, all good points. I thought the video expresses the reality of the students’ point of view. However, as the article states, the president of the student council is seeking an opportunity to address the situation, as is the university administration, all who attended the October meeting. The issue is that the city council is pushing the ordinance through without those most impacted having a chance to give input. Not included in the post, and perhaps it should have been, is that the university wanted a chance to create rules that might penalize the student body for off-campus activities, as well as on-campus and this ordinance was initiated without anyone from the council contacting them first to discuss options. Sound familiar, Laguna Beach?

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2012 by in Underage Drinking and tagged .

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