Eric Smith ’99 sent in these thoughts on banning hard alcohol at Williams.

It is amusing that Williams has a stellar set of profs and a bright student base . . . apparently those people that actually make decisions that reach the press though border on mentally retarded. Are they in total denial of the problems they have had since they cracked down on the party policy in the late ’90s? Are they ignoring what historical prohibitions in general have done? Have they at all cut down on the issues — not at all. Hell, the Bronfman family — one of the largest donors to Williams had their start from bootlegging — so they might be good ones to ask in terms of the likelihood of this working at Williams. I would imagine that Williams is more likely trying to cover their asses legally for the cases that do come up than they are about anything actually happening. If a parent sues them because his Muffy drank too much and hurt herself, the college can wave their hands and say “Hey, we don’t allow that stuff.”

When I was in college at Williams the party scene was very lax and it was surprisingly successful. They changed it around when MIT frat boys started killing each other via drinking and the state cracked down. The immediate result was an increase in younger students drinking hard and heavy before parties — and then ending up in the infirmary — I was a JA that year and I recall it vividly. I had several frosh go and it is never a pleasant thing to go through (although I think it is only fair to admit that I went myself that year as well).

When I was a JA, they brought a doctor in and tell us that it has been a very long time since a student has died from drinking and that as time goes by they are just pressing their luck. If this is the case, then it is all that much more likely to happen under their prohibition stage — so maybe that (inevitable fluke or not) will get them to wake up and try another avenue.

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