Short Answer

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

Friday's Verbum Ultimum addressed the Hanover Police's decision to press charges on a fraternity that placed a Good Samaritan call. Is the policy in jeopardy? What else can be done to protect students from alcohol consumption?

If these arrests continue, Good Sam can't be salvaged, plain and simple. As long as the Hanover Police is willing to forgo our safety for their misguided crusade without accepting the smallest input from the College, then students will just have to fend for themselves during an emergency.Chris Talamo '11

I'm not sure that a private institution like Dartmouth has any right to ask the police to disregard existing state and federal law. It would be better to see the administration support democratic change of the minimum age via the Amethyst Initiative, as President Wright did. The current drinking age simply helps buffer the unhealthy habits fostered by the frat system, in my opinion."Sam Buntz '11

As much as Dartmouth students think Hanover only exists to serve the college, the town police are not affiliated with Dartmouth. They exist to protect the interests of Hanover residents. Like it or not, having drunken college students stumbling around town is not something most small town residents relish.Sapna Chemplavil '11

A shocking revelation: Dartmouth students are not entitled to avoid the physical or legal consequences of binge drinking. The College's alcohol policy may be a monument to moral hazard, but the Hanover Police are obligated to enforce the law impartially. If students would enforce a code of responsible drinking among themselves, the whole problem would go away.Charles Clark '11

So long as it remains illegal for students under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, I fail to see how any university can successfully run a harm-reduction program that is both legal and effective. Good Sam was certainly a good policy, but it was effective only so long as the police were unwilling to enforce the law when this policy was invoked, an unrealistic assumption in hindsight.Jonathan Pedde '14Hanover Police has irreparably damaged the Good Sam policy, a policy that has saved the lives of countless Dartmouth students. Somewhere between budget cuts and department mismanagement, Hanover Police's commitment to their mission statement of "compassionate police services through partnerships that build trust, reduce crime, create a safe environment and enhance the quality of life in our community" has been lost. And yet I am even more ashamed that our College has become so impotent and complacent that it cannot protect the policies that protect its students.Kevin Niparko '12

How are fraternity basements safer places to drink than dorms? Fraternities serve hard liquor (it's called 'tails) and encourage competitive drinking (ever heard of pong?). Good Sam should be protected, but we have little to fear if Greek houses "shut their doors.Jordan Osserman '11

With Hanover Police effectively criminalizing the use of the Good Sam, it is clear that Dartmouth students can no longer trust state-run emergency services or the Dartmouth administration. It is time for Dartmouth students to understand that they must rely on one another, and conversely, must become open to help out other students in need.Julian Sarkar '13

As a freshman, I was shocked to see the Hanover Police so immediately undermine the policy that has already been crucial in getting medical attention for a number of my peers. Since the police clearly do not desire the collaborative relationship that President Kim has championed, perhaps Dartmouth should change its stance towards law enforcement and should no longer tolerate this counterproductive inquisition of Greek institutions.Keshav Poddar '14

The Good Sam policy isn't the problem. It's Hanover Police's fundamental misunderstanding that punishing underage drinking takes priority over students' safety.Spenser Mestel '11

Although the Good Sam policy has proven successful at helping students who have consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, simultaneously this policy has lessened the dangers of drinking in the eyes of many students. While this policy certainly must continue at Dartmouth, there should be further punishments if someone has received a Good Sam more than once in order to deter using this policy to promote habitual bad habits.Natalie Colaneri '12

If the Hanover Police are not willing to turn a blind eye towards legal violations surrounding Good Sam calls, than the College will need to take measures to make sure it can respond to calls before the police are able to get involved.Roger Lott '14

If I remember correctly, the police are only notified of a Good Sam when Safety & Security requests emergency assistance. If S&S is tactful when calling the ambulance, people should feel safe using Good Sam as long as they're not so drunk that they need to go to the hospital. And frankly, if they do get that drunk, maybe they should face the consequences.Ethan Wang '13

Hanover police justify their increased monitoring of the greek system by desiring to prevent a student's death. But their presence, via charges against individuals or organizations, offers no such security. Hence they should defer to Safety and Security in such matters.Matthew Stumpf '12

At this point, the only way for the College to save Good Sam is to show that in practice those involved in the call will not be punished. After the recent incident at SAE, however, this may prove to be impossible. In this case, the College will have to form a new policy that does a better job at guaranteeing the safety of its students.Mark Andriola '14