BU is not boozer friendly.

Skipping the fine print of your housing agreement may land you on a chemical-free floor, the closest bar is a 20-minute walk (or 40-minute stumble) from the center of campus and getting caught with a fake ID now has harsher penalties under the recently beefed up judicial sanction guidelines.

But once upon a time, in the not-too-distant past, alcohol on campus was not banished to being drunk clandestinely from a Poland Spring water bottle.

One of David Hagerbaumer’s responsibilities as director of campus life is to authorize the service of alcohol at University events, and since taking up the post in 1979, he has witnessed the evolution of BU’s relationship with alcohol.

“Oh, there have been drastic changes since I got here … back in those days when the drinking age was 18, my goodness, we were probably having three to four events on average every day classes were on, and now we would have maybe three a week,” he said.

Before the legal drinking age changed to 21 in 1987, freshmen drank their first BU beer as part of the official welcome ceremony to their academic future, rather than through a funnel at the semester’s first frat party.

“We had alcohol at orientation back then. We would have beer trucks that would come to the Peace Quad for all new student picnics, and we had dining hall parties every weekend with many, many, many kegs of beer,” Hagerbaumer said.

But University policy must mirror state and federal law, and these excesses came to a halt in 1987.

A decade or so later, the campus pub closed its doors because it was not making enough money.

Now, not only has the University got a stranglehold on students’ alcohol consumption, but the Student Association has got in on the act, too; chartered student organizations are not permitted to purchase alcohol with their S.A. funding.

But contrary to popular rumor, Hagerbaumer said, BU is not a “dry” campus.

The Chenango Room in Science I serves beer at lunch time, many receptions and functions include wine on the menu, and graduate student organizations sponsor weekly gatherings where they drink beer and wine with staff.

And of course there are the bottles of vodka hidden in students’ wardrobes and Smirnoffs stuffed in the sock drawers.

Along with Hagerbaumer, Gerry Johansen, associate director of BU’s alcohol and other drug program, has witnessed the evolution of student drinking behavior.

“Students used to drink at parties and drink to socialize,” Johansen said, “but now it is about drinking to get drunk.”

Johansen agreed upping the legal drinking age possibly contributed to this switch, because people become motivated to engage in behavior when they know it is prohibited.

But he said TV, movies and the millions of dollars spent on advertising every year also affect students’ attitudes toward drinking.

“There is this weird concept that it is a rite of passage, like ‘I have to hurt myself while at college, because that is what they do in Animal House, and the O.C. and everywhere else,’” he said.

Pre-gaming, when students drink before going to bars, is a trend Johansen has picked up on, but not from his official role on campus.

“Some nights when I leave the office I hear taxi drivers saying ‘I don’t know if some of these kids are coming to campus or going,’ because they are so loaded.”

Johansen said the promotion of BU’s tougher stance against illegal drinking was important to inform students of the consequences of their actions.

But he said the general attitude toward students drinking is part of the ambivalence of American culture.

“Since 1987, the number of bars around here has not gone down. What does that tell you? There is a lot of illegal service of alcohol,” he said.

Politicians talk about how to stop underage drinking, he said, “but nobody ever says ‘maybe we’ve got to get everyone to stop selling it to them’.”