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GRIT’s Bold Moves

With a handful of students running for SGA, a specific group seems to catch Suffolk’s attention. They are widely known as GRIT, otherwise referring to members Logan Trupiano, Hope Burnside, Connor Peterson, and Karine Kanj.

Although their team approach is quite intriguing to voters at Suffolk, GRIT has sparked a whole new conversation with their proposed ‘less dry campus’. This will allow students 21 and older to consume alcohol at Suffolk related events. Now, the idea itself is not entirely bad, for there might be an influx of Suffolk’s older crowd at school related events, but this truth is not completely telling. According to GRIT member Logan Trupiano, the plan is to permit legal drinking at on campus events.

In hindsight, the thought of alcohol on campus is intense. Suffolk is widely known, and even prideful of its ‘dry campus’ amidst the clamored and rambunctious streets of downtown Boston. That said, officials in charge of Suffolk’s on campus alcohol and drug policy probably have no interest in even considering GRIT’s proposition.

When speaking to Trupiano, it was clear that the group will pursue this matter relentlessly. But note that their only objective is not just promoting a less dry campus. They also want to target more majors within the student body by working closely with different departments to help students enhance resume’s and become more involved with Suffolk’s community. For example, majors working within either The Suffolk Journal or The Suffolk Voice will be allowed to attend SGA meetings and speak individually with members to ensure full coverage of issues and events being discussed and worked on.

In hindsight, the group seems to have a clear vision on enhancing student involvement. Yet there still seems to be one flaw, or concern rather.

To be frank, allowing legal drinking at school events does not mesh well with the school’s community. Suffolk is dry. Boring? Yes. Likely to change? No, at least not in my opinion. While I love the idea of being able to sip on a glass of wine with peers at a school event, I cannot honestly tell you the school will likely make every single attempt at shutting this idea down.

Why? Because that is what the Suffolk community identifies with (that and of course many other things). Furthermore, all students attending the university are aware of the drinking policy, and so trying to change it now might be controversial. GRIT says they are in no way compliant with pursuing drinking on campus in dorms for those 21 and older. However, take this concept to an event or function where legal students can access alcohol. The dilemma? Of age students buying alcohol for younger parties. Now in a perfect world there would be no mention of this. But the fact of the matter is that this sort of ordeal is most commonly known and used, especially when there is legal access to alcohol. Regardless of what precautions are taken, illegal drinking will occur, but allowing students to do so in a legal manner is basically giving Suffolk legal liability for whatever may happen.

Let’s also take into consideration the fact that Suffolk’s already existent liquor license does not give access to all venues and is limited to the lessors used by the university. So, who will be paying for a new license that allots more access throughout the city? It is true that each group or organization has a predetermined budget, but is that to say that a club at school will have to limit their spending for just one investment? Full liquor licenses cost an average of $250,000 to $450,000. Solely a beer and wine license amounts to $50,000. Even renewals are only a couple thousand dollars less. Even if GRIT is successful in their efforts, the money factor plays an enormous role, thus I am not quite confident in how the team plans on pulling this off.

Important questions to ponder: Do Suffolk groups even have the much money to spend? Is GRIT intending on gaining access to more venues throughout Boston or do they solely want to use Suffolk’s existing function halls with slightly more leniency?

All are important inquiries, and I am sure the team has the answers (considering I did not receive a lot of feedback on the matter).

All in all, GRIT has a lot of potential. Their efforts thus far have been quite incredible. I wish them the best and I am looking forward to seeing the results of elections!

SGA elections end this Wednesday, March 5th, at 5 pm. Be sure to vote on SU connect.

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