No incidents following AMP policy implementation

by Katie Rafter | 11/1/15 8:51pm

The new Alcohol Management Program been in place for two weeks, and the Office of Student Life plans to meet with Greek leaders today for a formal feedback session. No major problems with compliance have been reported so far.

The two more notable facets of the new alcohol policy are the presence of third-party bartenders, who are students, and third-party security at registered parties 150 students or more.

Bartenders are trained through the Training for Intervention Procedures program (TIPs), an online course available through the College.

Greek Leadership Council accountability chair Taylor Watson ’16 said there have not been any formal feedback sessions regarding the new alcohol management policy (AMP), but after speaking with members of several organizations informally, he has not heard any overwhelmingly negative feedback.

Associate dean for student life Eric Ramsey said he is meeting with presidents of Greek houses today to discuss their opinions. He said he encourages anyone to reach out with concerns or questions at any time.

“The process is really built to work with organizations as time goes on and to make adjustments as needed,” he said.

He said he has already met with the Inter-Fraternity Council about certain elements of the program and made adjustments to door duties and list policies as a result.

Watson said the new alcohol policy is more honest, and members of organizations seem to recognize this. He has not been trained as a third-party bartender, but said the presence of sober, objective bartenders at events has the potential to benefit the social environment at the College

“I think this could change the culture here in a good way,” he said.

Watson added that having third- party bartenders actually removes an element of responsibility from the organization holding the event, as they do not have to be concerned with serving guests alcohol.

“I don’t think that having the fox guarding the henhouse is a good thing,” Watson said.

Third-party bartenders are only required for tier-three events, defined as those with over 150 attendees. These require two Safety and Security walkthroughs on top of third-party security. Tier-two events, with 40-150 attendees, require bartenders as well, but they can be from the organization itself, while tier- one events, with less than 40 attendees, do not require trained bartenders.

Reilly Johnson ’16 went through the TIPs training this term, and said it was an easy process that did not cost anything.

Johnson acted as a third-party bartender at Sigma Delta sorority’s semi-formal on Oct. 24, a registered tier-three event, alongside Jeffrey Loo ’18.

Johnson said originally she participated in the training because she is social chair for Chi Delta sorority, but decided to serve drinks at other events in order to make money. Loo said he learned about the opportunity on JOBNET, which is maintained by the Student Employment Office, and took the training course after inquiring about the position.

Johnson said some aspects of the role did not feel natural to her.

“I found it really uncomfortable to have to say to sisters of Sigma Delt that they couldn’t go behind the bar,” she said, “In my opinion, it took away some of their autonomy over their social space.”

Ramsey said the new program does not seek to take away any autonomy from members of organizations. Instead, taking away the responsibility of serving alcohol at events means that hosts can be more focused on the health and safety of attendees.

Johnson said she and Loo did not encounter any problems while serving drinks, and were strict about only serving to guests wearing wristbands. There was also third-party security from Green Mountain Concert Services, which helped regulate the event. GMCS provides security services to dozens of colleges in New England.

GMCS could not be reached for comment.

Loo said they spoke briefly with the security company during the event, but mostly worked separately. He said the bartenders had no problems while working at the bar, and said that party-goers were compliant with the rules.

Ramsey said the College receives feedback from GMCS after every event, and they have not reported any problems over the past two weeks.

“Every time that an event has gone well, it has reduced the levels of anxiety and confusion for students,” he said.

Loo said having third-party bartenders could be useful in preventing anyone from feeling obligated to serve underage attendees in their own house.

Johnson said while she believes it is important to have sober monitors at events, she is not convinced that third-party bartenders are necessary.

“It’s a very different Dartmouth than the one I came into,” she said.