Finally, a Good Call on Alcohol

by The Dartmouth Editorial Board | 10/4/07 11:46pm

If a Dartmouth student were intoxicated at an unsafe level in October 2004, his or her friends may likely have been reluctant to call for medical assistance. The Good Samaritan policy at the time failed to guarantee impunity from alcohol policy violations to those who called for help or those who required help. But by summer 2005, the administration ended the limit on the number of Good Samaritan calls for any given student, and added education and counseling as alternatives to disciplinary action. As the Annual Report to the Community of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Disciplinary System demonstrated, these policy reforms have led to tangible positive results. The upward trend in Good Samaritan calls demonstrates the importance and impact of the administration taking a realistic approach to alcohol policy at Dartmouth. Whereas the previous policy primarily expressed the administrations fears of encouraging alcohol use among students, the revised policy acknowledges what should be the primary goal of the policy: to give medical help to those who need it. We commend the administration on its commitment to this policy change, a decision that was clearly informed by the realities of student life. The fact that the Good Samaritan policy is currently in touch with the actualities of the frat basement underscores the importance of the administration continuing to keep tabs on the policys use. Keeping Dartmouth students -- especially freshmen -- informed about the details of Good Samaritan policy must be an ongoing goal moving forward.

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