College tweaks alcohol policy

by Colin Barry | 4/23/03 5:00am

Dean of the College James Larimore announced "fine-tuning" to the College's alcohol policy yesterday. Effective immediately, student organizations will be permitted to register up to three social events with alcohol per week. Groups had previously been limited to two events each week.

College administrators will further streamline the procedures for registering an event and for requesting a special exception to the three-event limit, according to Larimore. As such, the deadline for both event and exception requests will be extended.

Finally, Dartmouth officials will amend the policy to discourage student groups from making alcohol "the primary focus of publicity associated with an event," Larimore said.

The current policy -- implemented at the beginning of Winter term -- was met with vitriol by Greek and organizational leaders, who said it severely limited the ability of their groups to meet.

Group leaders are required to register any event at which 40 people or the number of members (whichever number is fewer) will be present and alcohol will be served. As undergraduate organizations could not register more than two events per week, the policy effectively prevented Greek organizations and some student groups with large memberships from gathering more than twice weekly.

Dartmouth administrators had originally intended to wait until the end of the current term before considering alterations to the Social Event Management Procedures, Larimore said. However, "a number of concerns were raised in mid-Winter term," according to Larimore.

Specifically, a committee convened by Kevin Mazur '04 and Janos Marton '04 and composed of both students and administrators met to examine the policy after its implementation in the winter. The committee proposed four changes in a letter to Larimore at the beginning of this month.

In his announcement yesterday, Larimore heeded all of the committee's suggestions, calling their advice "open, honest and very direct."

The committee also noted that some aspects of the policy should be better publicized. Most obviously, the method for groups to request "exceptions" to the maximum number of events per week was rarely employed. College administrators acknowledged the lack of publicity. "The exception policy was a procedure that very few people actually knew about," Larimore said.