Greeks maneuver to avoid underage drinking

by Phil Salinger | 6/29/06 5:00am

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Without the ability to register parties throughout summer term, Greek houses are taking care to better hide underage alcohol consumption.
by Emma Haberman / The Dartmouth

Greek houses cannot register parties for students over the summer, so any student social events that include alcohol and are open to the campus during the summer must be hidden from Safety and Security.

Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity summer social chair Sam Fisher '08 said that his house must approach social functions with added caution given the makeup of the student body and the ramifications of getting caught violating College policy.

"Since a smaller percentage of the brotherhood is of legal age, when we have events we have to be much smaller and we have to be a lot more careful about things getting out of control, things escalating to a point where we cant handle them ourselves," he said.

Partygoers have also noticed fraternity brothers taking extra precautions at their houses' social functions.

"Brothers are much quicker to usher people outside and back entrances at the end of the night, or whenever they have word of [Safety and Security] lurking around," Dawn Kang '08 said.

Greek houses caught violating College policy are not put on probation until the beginning of Fall term, which Fisher said would be more damaging than immediate probation because it would hurt a house's ability to recruit sophomores and to convince incoming freshmen that the house is a sociable one.

Although no alcoholic social functions are sanctioned by the College over the summer, that does not stop most parties from happening.

A fraternity social chair said on condition of anonymity that if his fraternity were to hold such an event, they would serve alcoholic drinks in designated rooms upstairs in the house and forbid anyone from bringing alcohol down to the first floor. In such a situation, the social chair said he would assign half-hour "duties" to brothers who would prevent people from taking drinks downstairs.

College Proctor Harry Kinne said that Safety and Security does not change its tactics in enforcing Dartmouth's alcohol policy over the summer. According to Kinne, Safety and Security officers do not assume that any social event they witness over the summer is violating College policy and would only investigate a situation if officers saw evidence of wrongdoing from outside the house.

Kinne added that he thought Safety and Security was less likely over the summer to encounter illegal drinking functions due to their predominantly private nature.

Many sophomores live off campus during the summer and historically have tended to throw house parties in the absence of registered parties at Greek houses. Safety and Security does not have any jurisdiction over off-campus functions.

Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone said that his force also does not change its enforcement tactics over the summer with regard to parties on or off campus. He said that police involvement in off-campus parties is typically dictated by noise complaints throughout the year, but added that Hanover Police fields an increased number of noise complaints from town members over the summer. The chief attributed this increase to the summer weather, which leads Hanover residents to open their windows and as a result hear more noise outside.

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