Keep Dartmouth Students Safe by Maintaing the Self-Monitoring System
To the Editor:
The College Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CCAOD) recently issued a report advising Dean of the College Pelton how to control alcohol on the Dartmouth Campus. In the report, the CCAOD specifically pinpointed "CFS houses... [as] by far the largest identifiable sources of alcohol consumed" by minors. ["CCAOD recommends radical changes to alcohol policy", Nov. 12 "The Dartmouth"]
As a result the report suggests eradicating kegs and self-monitoring, raising fines for CFS alcohol violations, and giving Safety and Security free reign to patrol CFS houses.
In other words, the college wants to end all CFS parties and allow Safety and Security to stomp around Webster Ave like the Gestapo.
By "eliminating" kegs and underage drinking, the college blesses three-fourths of the student body with more time to pursue more healthy and sober Hanover "night-life" options.
Oh, wait ... did I say Hanover "night-life?" Of course I'm referring to the 24-hour coffee shops. Or maybe the under-21 dance clubs. Or we could always hang out with the Hanover High kids on the Food Stop parking lot practicing our skateboarding moves.
Aside from those few brave souls willing to take a midnight hike up Mount Moosilauke, what will the rest of the student body do late Friday night?
Maybe...drink? Only this time we won't be drinking beer in the basements of fraternities. We'll be drinking our own stashes of hard alcohol in our own rooms.
And this time we won't have dozens of people around us helping to look out for the incapacitated Dartmouth student. This time we'll be drinking without any system of self-monitoring.
Hard alcohol is easier to drink than beer and therefore affects us more than beer does. It's also easier to lose control with hard alcohol...the student deaths at MIT and Louisiana State University occurred this year from drinking hard alcohol. It's simply easier to drink a lethal amount of vodka or rum than it is with beer. Yet this is exactly the direction that Pelton and CCAOD are steering us.
CCAOD's proposal also threatens the "community-oriented" structure of the campus. If the CFS open parties become limited to the degree that Pelton wants, students will no longer have places to interact outside of their rigorous Dartmouth academic activities. Unfortunately, Lone Pine can't hold the 4000 member student body at one time...or even the several hundred that usually gather at CFS houses each weekend.
Students will always find ways to procure alcohol, and Dartmouth students are no exception. Keep Dartmouth safe. Let the drinking remain self-monitored in the CFS basements, and out of the Co-op Dartmouth shot glasses we keep in our rooms.