Seats were far from empty in Columbia 150 when students met to discuss the Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings, commonly known as the Social Host Ordinance, on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The forum was an opportunity to clarify the ordinance’s stipulations and consequences, especially in light of recent arrests related to unruly gatherings.
Panelists explained that you cannot be arrested as a consequence of the ordinance and said arrests were the result of other violations.
Mack Smith, the ASUO community affairs coordinator, led the forum. The panel included faculty from the Office of the Dean of Students, including Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Paul Shang, and members of the Eugene Police Department. Smith explained that the goal of the forum was to make sure that students are educated about the Social Host Ordinance.
Students asked questions about cost, reporting and consequences of the ordinance.
The Eugene City Council approved the Social Host Ordinance Jan. 28, 2013. The ordinance defines an unruly gather as any gathering where alcohol is served or consumed and where there are violations of either state or city laws relating to alcohol or “party” type incidents including disorderly conduct, noise disturbance, public urination and more.
Ryan Donlon, a member of the ASUO Executive staff, attended the meeting with a group of his fraternity brothers.
“I thought it was a really great opportunity to for the guys in our fraternity to come by and really learn more,” Donlon said.
During the forum, Donlon asked officers about past situations involving the Social Host Ordinance.
“We had a couple incidents last term where if guys had known their rights, or if guys had been compliant and known that it was better to be compliant it would have ended up a lot better for them,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure that we could all come by and learn a lot from the university officials as well as the Eugene Police Department officers.”
Officer Adam Steele emphasized the importance of student cooperation with the police department.
“Maturity an responsibility goes a long way,” Steele said during the forum.