Student Senate passes resolution in support of revised ordinance

The Public Excessive Intoxication ordinance will be voted on by the City Council next month

More stories from Rachyl Houterman


Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

Student Senate passed a resolution in support of the Public Excessive Intoxication ordinance 21-1-3.

Student Senate passed a resolution Monday supporting the revised Public Good Order ordinance, since renamed the Public Excessive Intoxication ordinance.

Before introducing and voting on the resolution, Eau Claire city staff gave a presentation on the revised proposed ordinance that will be brought before the Eau Claire City Council in October.

“This is a community issue; this is not a student issue,” Dale Peters, the Eau Claire city manager, said of the ordinance. “It’s not about UW students. It’s not about tech school. It’s a community issue, and it’s about raising the bar for our community so that we can do better. We can help people to be safer in our community and address those issues related to excessive alcohol and drug use.”

Other city staff speakers included Eau Claire City-County Health Department director Lieske Giese, assistant city attorney Jenessa Stromberger, and Deputy Chief of Patrol Chad Hoyord.

Strengthened language in the revised ordinance comes from a task force, comprising many different perspectives, Giese said, including UW-Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley Technical College students and administration, the fire department, police department, health department and others.

The new draft has been revised to place a larger emphasis on excessive alcohol consumption and community nuisances, according to the resolution. “Excessive” includes vomiting, public urination, stumbling, bloodshot or glassy eyes, slurred speech and other visible behaviors.

A new addition to the ordinance is a diversion program, which if taken, could waive the fine given to a first-time offender.

Language in the ordinance has since been altered to address excessive alcohol consumption as a community issue and not simply one targeted at student-occupied neighborhoods.

“I think it’s good that, as a community, we are saying there are certain behaviors that are unacceptable,” Peters said. “These behaviors associated with excessive alcohol (consumption) — they tug at our ability to build those quality relationships.”

However, Senator Gary Butcher II was concerned that the revised ordinance still targeted students as opposed to the community.

“It doesn’t seem like there’s a community problem so much as a Water Street problem,” Butcher II said.

Other senators spoke in support of the ordinance such as Hannah Jacobson. Jacobson cited personal experience of having her home broken into by intoxicated people.

“I feel like this can help our community,” Jacobson said. “It can help our students.”

The resolution passed 21-1-3.

Other news:

  • Hannah Codling was appointed the Communications Director
  • Senate passed a bill to amend the University Activities Commission Bylaws.
  • Senate passed a bill to amend the Student Office of Sustainability Bylaws.
  • Senate passed a bill to amend Chapter XI of the Student Senate Bylaws.
  • Senate passed a bill to amend Chapter XII of the Student Senate Bylaws.

Houterman can be reached at [email protected].