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Dartmouth Takes a Stand, Bans Hard Alcohol

Dartmouth University bans all hard alcohol from campus.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 16, 2015

Dartmouth Takes a Stand, Bans Hard Alcohol
Dartmouth College has faced a lot of scrutiny in the past few years – and rightly so. From horrendous accounts of hazing to sexual assault cases that were mishandled, the school has been under examination from parents, the federal government and the rest of the country watching from their smartphones and televisions. As a response, Dartmouth has recently announced that they are banning all hard alcohol on campus, according to USA Today. This comes after a months-long review of Dartmouth’s current policies, standards and campus climate in order to cut back on behaviors that lead to hazing, sexual assault and overconsumption. Many speculated that Dartmouth’s response would be to ban all fraternities and sororities from campus, essentially putting an end to Greek life; but for now, these organizations will be allowed to remain on campus. Instead, Dartmouth officials will focus on monitoring use of hard alcohol with these steps:

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USA Today states undergraduate advisors will begin conducting “rounds” of residence halls and will be permitted to enter a student’s room if they suspect the student has, or is using, hard alcohol.

• Both the offices of Residential Life, Safety, and Security and Judicial Affairs will be responsible for monitoring and carrying out consequences for students found with hard alcohol.

• Students over the age of 21 will be required to submit to this new policy if they live on campus.

The New York Times reports that Dartmouth will also draft a code of conduct for all fraternities, sororities and other groups to commit to in order to remain within the fabric of Dartmouth's student life.

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According to USA Today, Dartmouth has not yet finalized the process or the consequences for students who have been found with hard alcohol in their possession. What is clear, though, is that Dartmouth is taking its issues very seriously and sensitively. It’s important to recognize, though, that these problems aren’t exclusive to Dartmouth. Rather, they’re a problem for every college campus. Whatever behavior students choose to engage in, they should not take for granted their safety or well-being. And Dartmouth has proved that. Anything can happen on a campus, whether it’s big or small, Greek or non-Greek. Students should set up a sort of “buddy system” when they attend social events, hold each other accountable when their grades or attendance start slipping because of their social life and be a support system for those friends who do experience something traumatic as a result of someone else’s inappropriate behavior. After all, a college campus isn't just a hub for learning; it's a community.

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