Tohoku University evicts entire dormitory for rampant drinking

TOKYO —

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 “The university is trying to wipe out an outdated image of widespread drinking with brute force,” he said.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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  • -3

    tmarie

    Probably is but if kids are breaking the rules and they've been warned, out they go. Sucks to be a non drinker but since the university has offered to help them find other accommodation, what's the issue?

  • -2

    Educator60

    Wish my university would do something similar!

  • 3

    ReformedBasher

    Sucks to be a non drinker but since the university has offered to help them find other accommodation, what's the issue?

    If the non-drinkers haven't done anything wrong, it's not fair to include them. Should everyone in my apartment block be turfed out if one of the tenants breaks the rules?

    That's one issue.

    Another issue is the smarter students most likely made their lives their as comfortable as possible. There's no guarantee they will find somewhere as good. A longer commute, higher rent, etc, may drastically change their circumstances.

    Were you not a student yourself to be qualified for your current job? I've not attended university, except as a working adult attending night school, but it seems I have more empathy than you do.

  • 3

    Educator60

    I have a lot of empathy for my students, some of them come from very difficult circumstances, especially since 3.11, and my students know I am understanding of various problems they might have. But I have no sympathy for the ones who come hungover to class, push other (often underage) members of their sports clubs or dorms to drink, or the ones who see it happening and know it is wrong but stand by silently.

  • 0

    Yuya Koike

    Next time the university might want to open the dominetry only for scholarship student.

  • -1

    Scrote

    I wouldn't be surprised if the university planted the empty drink cans in order to have an excuse to evict the students. They need to provide better evidence than empty drink cans and to prove that the drink was consumed in the dormitory and not elsewhere.

  • -1

    Brian Wheway

    In the UK I know that your behaviour can go against you final pass mark, if your well behaved, not a problem but if you get drunk, disturb people, late for class, get in trouble with the cops, your final grade mark will be so mutch lower!, if it drops to low your kicked out, so its down to you to behave !!

  • 1

    garymalmgren

    Go Past this place every day and used to play tennis in the courts. Courts now temporary housing for tsunami victims.

    Location is great. Close to downtown with car parking thrown in.

    The photo doesn't show the piles of rubbish and junk under the balconies. Seems that is the way some students dispose of their refuse.

    Also doesn't show the dumped futons, appliances and what have you that the graduated students have left behind when they moved out.

    This is supposed to be a student co op where the cleaning is a shared resposiblility.

    A bit of work in exchange for almost free rent.

    They are getting the free rent and that is as far as it goes.

  • 0

    Puff_the_Magic

    At my university it was so bad that all the guys on one dormitory floor knocked all of the walls out between rooms because they didn't want the RA seeing them going from room to room with kegs and cases of beer and you name it. Again, it was so bad that the administration just gave up on them and let them do what they wanted, as long as it didn't have to involve the police, until the end of the year when they had to move out. The building was a wreck in general and eventually had to be torn down. It was fun back then but there's just too much violent behavior now.

  • 0

    Educator60

    garymalmgren

    Thanks for the extra information. Wow, I'm almost inclined to say then toss them out for their messiness, never mind the drinking ;-)

  • 1

    JohnBecker

    In other news:

    PARTY AT MEIZENRYO FROM NOW UNTIL 29 SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!

    Idiots. If they hadn't made the place such a mess outside and in the common areas, it's likely that none of this would have been a problem.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    If the non-drinkers haven't done anything wrong, it's not fair to include them. Should everyone in my apartment block be turfed out if one of the tenants breaks the rules?

    How many of those "non-drinkers" reported the prohibited activity to school officials? I'm guessing none, and that would make them all accomplices - enabling the drinking to continue to be a problem. They get booted as well.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Were you not a student yourself to be qualified for your current job? I've not attended university, except as a working adult attending night school, but it seems I have more empathy than you do.

    I didn't live in a dorm because they are well known to be party zones. Same as Japan. If anyone is serious about studying, they live off campus, outside of campus housing or in a special adult/grad student dorm. How many of these non-drinkers complained and went to officials? The university is offering them help - more than what most would do. Sorry but no, I don't feel sorry for them - more so after reading about what a junk heap the place is.

  • 2

    missbatten

    The Meizen dorm has a decades-old reputation not only for drinking, but for forcing alcohol on reluctant students, well beyond the usual concept of student partying. And yes, it looks like a tip from the road - though surely the university had some responsibility for upkeep. I don't think this was a decision lightly taken by the university.

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