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Irish pub Rock & Reilly’s will open at USC Village later this month, joining a handful of restaurants that serve alcohol on campus.
USC has an undergraduate population of roughly 20,000 students, most of whom are under 21. Underage consumption of alcohol is illegal and against University policy, according to the USC Student Handbook. According to a 2002 Harvard University study, 51 percent of college students thought that alcohol was “very easy” to obtain, and 18 percent have reported using false identification to obtain alcohol.
However, Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry said that since other USC Village establishments, including Target, Trader Joe’s and Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, also sell alcohol on campus, he doesn’t believe Rock & Reilly’s presence will lead to increased use of fake IDs among students.
“The opportunities for students to use fake IDs to get access to liquor are abundant, and they’re all over the place,” Carry said. “I don’t think a new pub at the Village will create any greater threat than what currently exists.”
While Rock & Reilly’s did not respond to comment on specific measures it would take to effectively prevent student fake ID use, the pub said it is aware of the issue.
“We at Rock & Reilly’s invite the community and campus to enjoy our restaurant and bar responsibly,” the pub wrote in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “We are very serious when it comes to fake IDs and underage drinking.”
Earlier this month, the Department of Public Safety reported that Department of Homeland Security officers arrested a student at USC Village FedEx for possessing a package that contained 10 fake IDs. DPS Captain Edgar Palmer said the case is currently being investigated by Homeland Security.
“We routinely cooperate with law enforcement in their investigations,” FedEx wrote in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “We do not publicly disclose information about our security processes and procedures.”
Palmer said there is a range of repercussions for students caught with a fake ID, such as receiving a city citation from the LAPD, having to appear in court or being cited to USC Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards by DPS.
When law enforcement officials from LAPD or DPS find students using fake IDs, Carry said these incidents are reported to the University, and the student is notified that the incident will go in their student conduct file after the first offense. If there are repeated incidents, the student must meet with SJACS.
Study abroad, graduate and other University programs will contact SJACS to view its applicants’ disciplinary records and may deny them a spot based on past fake ID citations, Carry said.
USC learned last year that Target, Trader Joe’s and other USC Village establishments that sell alcohol could not detect all fake IDs because their scanning technology was not advanced enough, according to Carry. He said the University continues to encourage all alcohol-serving restaurants and stores on campus to upgrade to advanced scanning technology that will better detect fake IDs.
“Our primary focus has been at the point of access, where the student is actually purchasing the liquor,” Carry said. “This is a federal offense to sell liquor to someone under the age of 21, so they have to ramp up their technology in order to prevent selling liquor with someone using a fake ID.”
Palmer said that underage students often want to participate in college drinking culture while overlooking its negative effects. Students often normalize underage drinking and fake ID use, Palmer said, but DPS tries to monitor and prevent these crimes in order to improve student safety.
To State Missouri 1 Collections Guides University Page Digital “Alcohol and the consumption of alcohol leads to a host of other issues that put students in danger, and sometimes the complaints that I get from parents are that we turn a blind eye to the fact that there’s so much consumption of alcohol by underage students,” Palmer said. “That’s certainly not the case. We certainly don’t want students out there doing it, but it is a reality.”
The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.