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21 years old with an underage roommate

AshParker113AshParker113 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
Hey y'all,

I just turned 21 over winter break and am returning to my room in a dorm designed for upperclassmen at Appalachian State. My old roommate graduated and due to overflow issues in the freshman dorms I was assigned an 18 year old incoming freshman as a roommate. My schools policy states that I am allowed a limited amount of alcohol and that I can drink it in the room so long as no guests under 21 are present so I read that to mean that I can have it with an underage roommate so long as I don't drink it in her presence. I don't know this girl well but looking at her Facebook she seems the type that will end up rushing a sorority or being a party girl. I don't plan on ever giving her alcohol but I myself drink regularly and would like to be able to keep my stuff in my room without having to deal with a bunch of crap. I'm worried that if she were to bring booze she got elsewhere into the room or otherwise get in trouble for drinking I would be held liable.

I'm planning on getting a lock for my desk drawer and keeping all of my alcohol there. How else can I protect myself from liability?

As a side note, I know that a few weeks into classes housing tends to move some overflow students into freshman dorms as spots become available. Do y'all think they'd be more likely to move her given the risk issues of having someone so young with an of-age student?

Replies to: 21 years old with an underage roommate

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,084 Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    [deleted with apologies]
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 22,908 Forum Champion
    I would read the policy to be that you can no longer keep alcohol in your room with an underage roommate so be careful. If your RA is decent I'd talk to him/her and arrange something that works.

    And I'd go to ResLife at the very start of the semester and ask them to move your roommate to a freshman dorm if space comes available due to the age/legal gap.
  • elliebhamelliebham Registered User Posts: 876 Member
    It looks like this is the policy regarding alcohol at App State:
    Alcohol - In accordance with State law and University policy, only persons 21 years of age or older are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages in their own residence hall room or in residence hall rooms where they are invited guests of residents 21 years of age and over. Students who are 21 years of age or older may not consume alcohol in a residence hall room with guests under 21 years of age present.

    Residence hall rooms are the only places on campus (other than officially designated public areas) where persons of legal drinking age are permitted to possess or consume alcoholic beverages. Open containers in public areas (hallways, sidewalks, bathrooms, lobbies, etc.) are not permitted. Alcohol is not permitted in the Appalachian Panhellenic Hall. Alcoholic beverage container collections are not permitted in residence hall
    rooms. Loss of control due to intoxication in no way excuses or justifies violation of state law, University policy, or the rights of others.

    Students 21 years of age or older may have no more than (12) 12-ounce containers of beer, or (2) 750ml bottles of wine, or 750ml of liquor in their residence hall rooms. If quantities larger than this are found in any room they will be subject to confiscation
    So I would think that you would still be permitted to have your own alcohol in your possession... just not drink it in the presence of your roommate. I would confirm with your RA, if possible, at the beginning of the semester to be sure (and preferably through email so you have a written record of it should something come up).
  • AshParker113AshParker113 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Where did you read that if you don't mind me asking? At my floor meeting at the beginning of the year (when I was still underage) I'm pretty sure my RA just said that we couldn't drink with them in the room and it had to be kept on our side.
  • AshParker113AshParker113 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Sorry I meant the other poster. Thanks though! Do you know if I might be held liable if she brought in her own alcohol (like some her friends bought her or something) and was caught with it?
  • OttermaOtterma Registered User Posts: 1,395 Senior Member
    I think you're right to be concerned about this. I had a roommate in college who always put her booze on my side of the room when her parents came to visit. I later had two housemates who were Mormon. When people from their church were coming over, my housemates would move all of their ice tea and Coke to my side of the refrigerator.

    I can totally see a scenario where you could get busted for having more than the permitted amount of liquor or where your roommate could get caught with open bottles of booze when you aren't around and say that you left it that way.

    Your best defense is to raise your concerns with the relevant people at the school.

    The thing is, your new roommate could be totally fine. Odds are she will be. There will be warning signs if she does turn out to be a wild child: like coming back from a party and getting sick. She will almost certainly start drinking at parties before she starts drinking in the room. If you see that start to happen, then you can take extra precautions.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,550 Super Moderator
    ^Uh, also just because she goes out and drinks at parties - even drinks irresponsibly at parties - doesn't mean she's going to drink or steal your alcohol. They're kind of two different things, with the latter bordering on an alcohol problem.

    I think you should treat this like you would any other roommate scenario - keep an open mind and assume positive intentions until you are shown otherwise. I definitely wouldn't make any assumptions about her on the basis of Facebook - people curate social media to present an outward appearance that might not match who they actually are.

    Your plans sound fine - get a lock and keep it in a locked area, then talk to your RA about your concerns and make sure you're adhering to the policy. That's all you can really do.
  • shawnspencershawnspencer Registered User Posts: 3,110 Senior Member
    Sounds about right to me. It looks like you'll be fine as long as you keep it to yourself and don't openly share it with your roommate. Chances are people aren't out to get you and your roommate will likely be fine. But if she gets in trouble and blames it on you, that is deception and that is a completely different issue entirely than if she just goes out once in a while. Those are trust issues rather than simple drinking issues. You'll probably be fine though, and as long as you are doing the right thing, chances are you'll be fine.
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