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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Green Key is not what it used to be

In past years, Green Key Weekend has been known for great parties and increased alcohol consumption, but recently the focus of the weekend has shifted to relaxation and outdoor activities.

Safety and Security Sergeant Mark Lancaster said the emphasis of Green Key is changing.

"It's not as big a weekend as it used to be," he said. Lancaster said the scope of Green Key has been significantly reduced in recent years.

Lancaster said past Green Key celebrations used to consist of several days of planned activities and drew large numbers of alumni back to the College.

Now, most Green Key activities are limited to Saturday events on the Green and fewer alumni return to campus for the festivities, he said.

This change has resulted in reduced complaints to Safety and Security during Green Key Weekend in the last few years.

In 1994, Safety and Security received 55 complaints from midnight on Thursday to midnight on Sunday of Green Key Weekend. Of these complaints, 21 involved intoxicated persons and five were alcohol violations.

By comparison, only 10 out of 40 complaints involved intoxicated persons and only three were alcohol violations during the 1996 Green Key Weekend.

Despite these figures, however, some students say Green Key is still primarily a party weekend.

A male member of the Class of 1999, who did not wish to be identified, said the major draw of the weekend is alcohol.

"I'm looking forward to partying," he said. "That's what it's all about ... drinking all day."

He said while people are "psyched" for Green Key Weekend because of the outdoor activities, "it wouldn't be Green Key" without the "drinking debauchery."

Other students disagree, however, claiming the weekend's activities draw so many students because of the spring time, festival atmosphere rather than the alcohol.

Mike Stacy '98 said the weather is what really encourages people to come out and celebrate on Green Key Weekend. He said the weather does not generally improve until then, which is why so many people participate in the outdoor activities.

He said he does not think alcohol is a major factor of Green Key Weekend because "you can get alcohol any other time."

Stacy said he thinks people obviously have other reasons for their interest in the weekend, since there is no alcohol served on the Green and yet many people turn out for the activities that take place there.

Nathan Stellwagen '98 said many students probably look forward to the weekend for both the outdoor activities and the availability of alcohol.

Even though Green Key Weekend complaints to Safety and Security have decreased in recent years, the figures still show an increase compared to the number of complaints on average weekends.

Safety and Security Crime Prevention Officer Rebel Roberts said Safety and Security sometimes runs into "more problems and usually alcohol is involved" because Green Key brings people from outside the community to the campus.

"It is against College policy to have an open container [of alcohol] on College grounds," Roberts said. "We will deal with anyone that we see that is doing anything that is against College policy."

Roberts said Safety and Security is "mainly interested in the safety of students." She said students should be sure to take precautions -- such as locking doors and windows -- since many people from outside the College community will be on the campus this weekend.