Short Answer

by The Dartmouth Opinion Staff | 10/4/09 10:00pm

Believing that the most important goal of campus alcohol reform should be "saving lives" is simply counterproductive thinking. An effective Good Samaritan policy is certainly a must. But the College alcohol policy's main goal should really educate students about responsible drinking. Eliminating legal punishment so that Good Sam can be used effectively will, of course, save lives, but won't it create a safer drinking environment that only encourages students to abuse alcohol?Jasper Hicks '12

The College's first priority must be the safety of its students, and the Hanover Police aspire to, "build trust, reduce crime, create a safe environment and enhance the quality of life in our community," according to their web site. In everyone's interest, the College should remind the police that arresting dangerously intoxicated students does not contribute to any of their stated goals.Justin Murray '13

Friday's Verbum Ultimum reads: "It is hard to dispute the logic of this policy: College should be about learning from one's mistakes and making more responsible decisions in the future." Really? Because I wouldn't be the first to dispute the claim that student "offenders" see drinking before their 21st birthday as an irresponsible mistake, and that an educational program is going to set them right once and for all.Billy Zou '12

The fact that the College must play a role in student-police interactions to ensure student safety highlights the glaring problem with our current laws. The new administration should maintain former College President James Wright's support for the Amethyst Initiative to lower the drinking age. College drinking will continue despite the law, but if it is not illicit, students will be much more likely to seek help and show responsibility as using alcohol could be discussed openly with the College and the police.Emily Baxter '11

While I think that Hanover Police should work with the College to do its best to protect and serve, they should not be bullied into letting the College make any decisions for them. Dartmouth may be a big part of Hanover, but Hanover Police are government employees, not College employees. Letting the College dictate any of their policies sets a dangerous precedent.Tom Mandel '11

The College should absolutely work with the Town of Hanover to encourage an alcohol policy that is reasonable on both the town's end and the College's end. However, I wouldn't get my hopes up. The town is not obligated to listen to the College. What would Dartmouth do? Move?Phil Aubart '10

Dartmouth students are presented with two ways to break the underage drinking law: responsibly and irresponsibly. Drinking past the Good Sam threshold (BAC over 0.29) is symptomatic of deep-rooted psychological and dependency problems that a night at Dick's House and a counseling class will fail to address. That being said, students should still never be put in a situation where they must weigh their friends' immediate safety against their futures. The College should therefore seek to keep all drinking offenses internal while ratcheting up the consequences for those who repeatedly consume in excess.Kevin Niparko '12

There is, undeniably, much tension between the Dartmouth student body and Hanover Police. Primarily, the students only see the police as a threat of bringing about a criminal record. If a representative from Hanover Police held annual discussions with students, explaining their methodology and what students can do to prevent police action, this tension would significantly decrease. Julian Sarkar '13