Recently, certain Kohler residents have attempted to revoke the hall’s long-standing “substance-free” policy. As the sole substance-free housing option on campus, the unique policy has earned Kohler the nickname “the Tower of Purity,” and bestowed a quiet, drug- and alcohol-free environment upon its inhabitants.While some Kohler RLAs are involved with these residents in the repeal, the vast majority of the hall’s residents and staff have taken up a firm stance against this decision.
RLA Siri Hellerman maintains that “it doesn’t make sense to take away the substance free policy – it’s only fair to give students the option to live away from loud parties,” while RLA Corin Howland, citing safety issues as a concern, remarked “I’m glad there’s a dorm on campus for people who want to stay apart from the drinking culture (or just its aftermath).”
Residents who approve of the substance-free living option said that they enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere provided by the policy. Others noted that although they themselves drink, it was comforting to return to a quiet dorm after a party, while many students asserted their right to substance-free housing.
Of those residents who support the repeal, the majority insist that, while they respect the wishes of those students defending the policy, they themselves did not choose to live in Kohler, and therefore should not have to live in a substance-free hall.
One RLA argued that, were the policy to be rescinded, Kohler’s daunting “pure” reputation might assimilate into and become part of the larger LU community. Other residents believe that allowing alcohol into Kohler could free its inhabitants from self-imposed isolation.
According to Amy Uecke, the associate dean of students for residence life, the policy can be refuted if supported by two-thirds of the hall’s residents and ratified by LUCC. However, she stated that this was not likely to occur, due to the fact that Kohler is currently the only on-campus substance-free housing option. She also implied that not many Kohler residents were likely to support the decision.
Repeated attempts to contact students supporting a change in the substance-free policy were unanswered as of press time.