Inconsistency surrounds alcohol policy at The Flats

Madeline Deabler

WSU police filed a report of a “loud party with alcohol present” at The Flats apartment complex in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 10.

Unlike Shocker Hall and the now defunct Fairmount Towers — both owned and operated by the university — The Flats are privately owned. A joint venture from local businessmen David Murfin, Nestor Weigand Jr., Ivan Crossland Jr., and Steve Barrett, called MWCB LLC, owns the new 112-apartment complex. The university said that no student fees will be used to pay for the Flats.

State law permits the consumption of alcohol on private property by anyone over the age of 21.

WSU Police Captain Guy Schroeder said that the police department was told to treat The Flats the same as Shocker Hall in terms of alcohol policy.

Alcohol is prohibited at Shocker Hall, according to the 2017-18 Housing and Residence Life handbook. Schroeder said that, as far as he knows, the no-alcohol policy applies to The Flats as well.

Mandy Hambleton, who directs the student conduct office, said that alcohol possession and/or consumption is prohibited in The Flats and that a state statute allows the university police department to enforce both state law and university policy.

The Flats website lays out a different alcohol policy.

According to the website, students over the age of 21 are allowed to consume alcohol in their apartments, as long as no one under 21 is present. No alcohol can be consumed in public areas.

Director of Housing and Residence Life Scott Jensen said that the inconsistency stems from the university’s decision to lease the entire building after the closing of Fairmount Towers.

The Flats were originally set to be available for both students and non-students, with preference in leasing for students. When the decision was made to close Fairmount Towers, the university chose to keep The Flats available for students only.

Jensen said that the policy on The Flats website reflects the university’s original intention to allow alcohol at the privately owned complex.

“Being it was a private building just managed by WSU, we were going to expand that offering,” Jensen said. “When the decision was made to lease the whole building, it was decided to keep the alcohol policy consistent with Shocker Hall.”

Jensen said that the Housing and Residence Life staff will update the website so that the policies will be consistent across all platforms.