Students reflect on alcohol policy

by Iris Liu | 9/30/12 10:00pm

Since random Safety and Security walkthroughs began on Sept. 21 with the implementation of the College's new alcohol and harm reduction policies, officers have walked through an average of four to five Greek organizations per night, according to Director of Safety and Security and College Proctor Harry Kinne. Prior to this policy, Safety and Security could only conduct announced walkthroughs, arranging times with fraternities and sororities in advance.

Although the first walkthrough for each house following the new policies' implementation was preceded by a warning from Safety and Security officers, future walkthroughs will be unannounced and random, Kinne said. Officers had pursued no disciplinary action following walkthroughs as of Sept. 28, he said.

Kinne said that Safety and Security hopes the announced walkthroughs will make the transition to the new policies as smooth as possible.

"We wanted to make sure everybody is on the same page and wanted to make sure the organizations and everyone in them knew what we were doing," he said. "I've talked to a number of people from fraternities who wanted to talk about what the process would be. We're trying to be as transparent as possible about how we're going to do this."

Cole Adams '13, a social chair of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, said that Safety and Security walked through SAE's physical plant after midnight on Sunday morning after the organization extended bids to new members. Safety and Security emailed Adams at approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday, alerting him of the imminent walkthrough.

"The new members were hanging out with brothers," he said. "They didn't go into private rooms, as promised. They were respectful, nice and there were no problems."

Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity president William Conaway '13 said that although students are "worked up" about the new policy, he is not worried about walkthroughs of his fraternity.

"You don't see [Safety and Security] walking into a basement and carding people," he said. "They're not looking for '16s playing pong they're looking for somebody passed out in the corner."

Jordan West '14, a member of Chi Gam, said a walkthrough of the Chi Gam physical plant on Sept. 26 was "chiller" than he expected. When officers walked into the basement and students were playing pong, officers scanned the premises, talked to a student and left quickly, he said.

Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity president Daniel Rosengard '13 said that the policies have not changed his organization's social events thus far, though he noted that the policies have the potential to invade members' privacy.

"If Safety and Security stays within the framework of looking for batch and hazing, I don't see it being a huge problem," Rosengard said.

While Adams said he is frustrated by the principle of the policy, he said in practice it will reduce hazing considerably.

"At the end of the day, nobody's happy about having a stranger being able to walk through your house," he said. "But the frats and [Safety and Security] have a phenomenal working relationship, and it's of interest to both of us to keep this relationship alive."

As a result of the working relationship, Safety and Security has not been as strict about minor violations like games of pong, Adams said.

Kevin Wang '15 said he observed an "awkward" Safety and Security walkthrough on Sept. 24 at Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity, noting that "you've just got to stop whatever it is you're doing and wait."

Wang, who said he thinks previous policies were sufficient to ensure student safety, said he worried that hazing and drinking would be driven underground this year. Students can ensure peer safety without the need for random walkthroughs, he said.

Xinyue Guo '14, who was also present at Tri-Kap on Monday, said the walkthrough surprised her, but fraternity members handled the walkthrough well.

Kinne said he hopes these policies will have minimal impact on students living in Greek organizations and residence halls.

"These [new policies] are going into effect as a deterrent to help prevent various activities that are detrimental to the health and welfare of our students," Kinne said.

Adams also serves on Palaeopitus Senior Society and said that Kinne, Safety and Security and Greek Letter Organizations and Societies have been "cooperative and reasonable" in discussions with the society regarding the policies.

"In general, the new policies make sense in terms of eliminating dangerous things that happen at Dartmouth," Rosengard said.

Other new policies include enforced penalties for serving "punch," or batches of mixed drinks, and stronger punishments for hazing violations.

Representatives from Sigma Delta sorority and Bones Gate fraternity declined to comment.

Representatives from Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Delta Epsilon, Kappa Delta, Epsilon Kappa Theta, Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Phi sororities and Theta Delta Chi, Sigma Nu, Psi Upsilon, Phi Delta Alpha, Beta Alpha Omega, Alpha Delta and Alpha Chi Alpha fraternities did not respond to requests for comment by press time.