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I’ll Drink to That

There is so much good stuff in this week’s Record that it is hard to know where to begin. The center piece is 6 articles — the first installment of a two part series — on alcohol at Williams. This is clearly Bart Clareman’s ’05 first big project as the new editor-in-chief at the Record. He and his writers have done a fine job.

Clareman begins the series:

Embarassed by the behavior of students at Homecoming and fearful that a student might succomb to the effects of alcohol poisoning, the Committee on Undergraduate Life (CUL), in concert with the College administration, has redoubled its efforts to change the nature of the alcohol culture at Williams College. To be sure, ensuring the safety of the student body is a noble and worthwhile pursuit. But how does the College understand the drinking culture as it exists today? How does it intend to change that culture?

Good questions indeed.

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#1 Comment By Eric Smith ’99 On March 11, 2004 @ 7:14 am

I haven’t kept up on who the deans are these days, but in my day I had to see a few of them. Most frequently was for various frosh of mine that may have been getting in trouble and usually drinking related.
The particular dean that I went to see said that his own (and other deans as well) opinion was that social drinking was a key part of the college experience – as was drinking too much. The theory being that one learns their boundaries and then learns to respect those boundaries.

That said, they also have to watch out for the legal responsibilities the college may have as well as the reputation.

In the end, as with anything, the concept of what is right or what may serve one purpose will immediately get thrown out the door if you are looking at money in the form of lawsuits.
The college has to cover itself and so whether they actually believe that they can, or even should, they have to make a policy of changing student behavior in these litigious times.

But like I said, times have changed, perhaps the opinion of the higher ups is of another one in the years gone by since my experience there.