While many religiously-affiliated US universities ban alcohol on campus, Dartmouth College’s recently announced ban of hard alcohol on campus puts it in a minority. Richard Perez-Pena’s article in the New York Times (“Dartmouth Cites Student Misconduct In its Ban On Hard Liquor,” 1/29/15) describes this new policy, along with the administration’s consideration of the closure of certain notorious fraternities as well as changes in residential policy which will allows for closer clusters of students for both counseling and oversight.
Only a few other non-religious colleges share this hardline policy, for example: Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby, which share Dartmouth’s rural, small town, settings. One student cited the likelihood of students taking their consumption of hard liquor off-campus, thus exposing them to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. Brown University currently is reviewing its policy on students and alcohol consumption.
On the other hand, Mr. Perez-Pena points out, Pennsylvania State University has a strict on-campus alcohol consumption policy, but is known for big partying nonetheless. Dartmouth’s on-campus fraternities, which dominate the social scene, make policing by the campus security manageable. “Pre-gaming,” drinking alcohol in groups even before going to a party,was specifically cited as a concern of campus officials.
Sarah Reese, Informed Educational Solutions