Capilouto appoints task force to study University of Kentucky alcohol policy

UK President Eli Capilouto 
is confident lawmakers will 
approve the plan because of "our record of success."
UK President Eli Capilouto is confident lawmakers will approve the plan because of "our record of success."

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto appointed a task force Tuesday to examine longtime rules that strictly limit alcohol on campus.

The 15-member group, which includes a mix of university officials and community representatives, is called the Work Group on Student Health and Safety. It will look at factors leading to alcohol misuse by students, current alcohol policies, and best practices to prevent alcohol abuse, as well as other health and safety issues.

Capilouto first said he was interested in revisiting the alcohol policy last September, when UK started creating a new master plan for campus. Many neighborhood groups have said UK's policy of zero alcohol in campus living spaces has pushed student drinking into nearby neighborhoods.

"We realize we're an institution that is intimately tied to Lexington," said Robert Mock, UK's vice president for student affairs. "I think we need to look at some data and research and see what's done at other institutions to come up with a model that is the best fit for the university and the city of Lexington."

Mock said part of the impetus for the review came from recent incidents, including a temporary ban on some tailgating at UK football games because of alcohol-related problems, and property damage and arrests after public celebrations of the 2012 NCAA title by the UK men's basketball team.

"It's no secret that those were not positive things that we would not like to see reoccur," he said. "We're going to investigate and see what comes out of the discussion."

Mock will co-chair the group with Eric Monday, the university's executive vice president for finance and administration. Two city officials, two representatives of Bluegrass Community and Technical College, one neighborhood representative and one UK student will join nine UK employees on the task force. The city's representatives are Urban County Council member Diane Lawless, who represents many of the neighborhoods surrounding UK, and Derek Paulson, the city's commissioner of planning.

"Colleges have a duty and responsibility to translate new knowledge into the creation and implementation of effective best practice policies to facilitate responsible alcohol use and reduce the harmful effects of alcohol misuse," Capilouto said in a statement. "Universities cannot alone resolve the alcohol problems among students. Comprehensive and coordinated interventions at the individual, campus and community level are the most effective strategies."


■ Robert Mock (co-chair), University of Kentucky vice president for student affairs

■ Eric Monday (co-chair), University of Kentucky executive vice president for finance and administration

■ Felito Aldarondo, University of Kentucky counseling center associate director

■ Chris Frost, University of Kentucky professor of law

■ Todd Gray, Bluegrass Community and Technical College security and safety manager

■ Tom Harris, University of Kentucky vice president for university relations

■ Marc Hill, University of Kentucky executive associate athletics director

■ Diane Lawless, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council

■ Joe Monroe, University of Kentucky police chief

■ Roshan Palli, University of Kentucky Student Government Association president-elect

■ Derek Paulsen, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government commissioner of planning

■ Palisa Williams Rushin, Bluegrass Community and Technical College vice president for student development and enrollment management

■ Gregory Smith, University of Kentucky professor of psychology

■ Lee Thomas, neighborhood representative

■ Tim Tracy, University of Kentucky dean of pharmacy