Dear Rice students:

In my meeting with the Student Association senators during the week after Esperanza, I learned that drinks mixed with hard alcohol were served by the caterer at Esperanza. I was told by the senators that some students have complained about this service, given that the alcohol policy specifically prohibits this. This criticism is entirely accurate and completely understandable: We screwed up. My office should not have granted the Rice Program Council permission to allow the caterer to serve mixed drinks. Although RPC should not have requested this on the event approval form, the mistake rests with us for failing to deny the request.

My staff and I regret the error. This clarification is important for two reasons. First, when we make a mistake, we admit it, and we take measures to correct the error. That is my responsibility. I have already talked with my staff about this mistake, and we have discussed the necessary corrections. Second, this mistake in no way changes our expectations under the alcohol policy. The serving of hard alcohol, including mixed drinks made from hard alcohol, is banned from all public parties and private gatherings, and private consumption of hard alcohol is banned specifically on the nights of major events such as Esperanza, even for those of age.

I would like to thank the Student Association for bringing this problem to my attention, and I appreciate your understanding and cooperation.



John Hutchinson

Dean of Undergraduates