College establishes new alcohol policies for harm reduction

by Emily Fletcher | 8/8/11 10:00pm

By Emily FletcherThe Dartmouth Staff

In January 2011, the College implemented new initiatives including a nighttime safety shuttle, new training programs and a revised Social Events and Management Procedure (SEMP) to reduce harm from alcohol and the risk of sexual assault. SEMP, Safe Ride and Green Team a student-run bystander intervention program intended to prevent detrimental incidents arising from alcohol consumption are among programs and procedures intended to keep students safe on campus.

Under the current SEMP policy, social events are categorized as Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 based on the number of students attending each event and the type of alcohol served. Each tier requires designated registration procedures.

Tier 1 events are those at which only members of the host organization are present such as Greek house meetings and cans, kegs or wine may be served, according to an Office of Residential Life "SEMP Cheat Sheet." A sober monitor must be present at Tier 1 events, but the events are not subject to a Safety and Security walkthrough.

Tier 2 events are classified as those with fewer than 150 people or a Tier 1 event at which one or more non-member arrives. Cans, kegs, wine or "tails" hard alcohol used to make mixed drinks can be served, and "on-the-fly" registration with Safety and Security is allowed if only cans or kegs are being served.

Events with more than 150 people must be registered as Tier 3 events by the Wednesday before the event. While Tier 2 events require the activation of a "Tier 2 Internal Management Plan," Tier 3 events must include "full management procedures," such as providing wrist bands for those over 21 and checking identification at the door, according to the information sheet. Those hosting Tier 3 events may only serve cans of alcohol and a maximum of five kegs.

Tier 2 events are subject to at least one Safety and Security walkthrough, while Tier 3 are subject to at least two.

"Alcohol cannot be the primary focus of an advertising [email] or poster," according to the ORL information sheet. "While a mention of alcohol or kegs can be made, it must be secondary to the general theme or purpose of the party."

ORL defines one serving of alcohol as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or one ounce of hard liquor. Punches and common sources of mixed drinks are "strictly prohibited" under SEMP policy, according to the ORL website.

Any organization accused of violating College policy is subject to an Organizational Adjudication Committee hearing.

The College Alcohol Policy prohibits alcohol at outdoor events, unless the Director of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies or the Director of the Collis Center grants an exception, according to College SEMP policy.

Green Team was started in February 2011 as a way to reduce alcohol harm and sexual assault on campus. The student-run program sends trained sober monitors to parties to assist the hosts in ensuring that students remain safe.

When assigned to Greek house events, Green Team members can pass out wrist bands and check IDs tasks usually reserved for members of the Greek organization for the duration of the event.

An eight-person Green Team committee selected by the Student Assembly Alcohol Crime and Reduction Committee co-chair Cyrus Akrami '11 and fellow committee members Jeff Millman Tu'12 and Charlotte Cipparone '12 runs the new program, The Dartmouth previously reported.

Millman previously created a similar initiative at Haverford College called the Quaker Bouncer program, which served as the model for Green Team.

Safe Ride, a program implemented in January 2011, employs students to drive other students from point to point on campus at night. The program was designed to reduce the risk of sexual assault on campus.

Students can request a ride using the regular Safety and Security phone number, 603-646-4000. Rather than following a scheduled route, the shuttle will pick up individual students and drive them directly to their destinations.

The College will continue to look into how new alcohol-related initiatives can improve student healthon campus.