On July 15, Tohoku University sent eviction notices to all 105 residents of Meizenryo, a student-governed dormitory in Sendai. The school claims that the students violated their “promise to abstain from alcohol.”
Although asking a building full of college students not to drink is like asking a building full of tigers not to scratch the furniture, the school is taking a hardline stance of incredulousness at their behavior. Nevertheless, students are appealing saying that not everyone in the dorm drinks and some should be allowed to stay.
According to Professor Odanaka, a representative of Tohoku University, the problem began back in April when a large number of empty beer cans were found in the dorm and there had been reports of intoxicated vomiting in the common areas. He says that since then the situation has shown “no improvement” leading to the current eviction notices.
The dormitory houses first and second year students most of whom are under the legal drinking age. However, the school feels that there is a longstanding atmosphere of “this is a place to drink” in Meizenryo which is placing peer pressure on students who wouldn’t normally want alcohol.
Meanwhile, Meizenryo committee chairman Shunto Kaneko flatly denies the university’s claims and says that the situation has gotten better. “The university is trying to wipe out an outdated image of widespread drinking with brute force,” he said.
Kaneko requested to discuss the issue with the university further and try to prevent students who didn’t drink from getting kicked out, but Odanaka declined saying, “The decision has been made. It will not be overturned.” The students have until 30 September to move out and the school has offered to help by mediating with other dorms in the city.
Here’s where the plot thickens. After all of the students move out, the university plans to renovate Meizenryo and update its facilities by installing Western-style toilets among other things. Could this all just be a ploy to get the kids out so the school can update and then charge more for residency at Meizenryo?
Source: Yahoo! Japan News
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