The latest from Dean Bolton:

From: NESCAC Deans
Date: Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:19 PM
Subject: We need your help! An important message from the NESCAC Deans
To: X

Dear X,

Williams, along with the other institutions in NESCAC (Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Conn College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Tufts, and Wesleyan), is conducting its second-ever survey to understand current students’ alcohol use and the alcohol culture on each of our campuses. Your participation in this project, whether you are a drinker or non-drinker, is critically important. Your response will be completely confidential, so please answer all questions honestly. On Sunday, you will receive an email with a link to the online survey, and we hope that you will take 10-15 minutes of your time to answer the survey when you receive it.

Your contribution is crucial for us to obtain an accurate picture of the role of alcohol in the student experience on our campuses. The results of the common survey will enable us to assess the current state on our individual campuses and then be able to compare those results to true peer schools. Our hope is that the results will help reveal best practices, allow us to develop and implement better services, programs, and policies to meet your needs, and suggest innovative initiatives for our campuses. The survey, which we have developed, is one that we will aim to administer every three years, allowing us to measure changes in the alcohol culture on our campuses.

We want to assure you that your responses to the survey will be kept strictly confidential. All data collected will be shared in aggregate form only.

We hope we can count on your participation in this important project and want to thank you in advance for taking the time to do so. If you feel uncomfortable answering any question, please feel free to skip that item. If the survey does bring up any questions or concerns for you, please contact your Dean’s Office or your Student Health or Counseling Center.

Thank you for your assistance in completing this important research project. Your honest responses to the survey questions will enable us to develop programming, policies and services that further promote and safeguard student health and well-being.


Sarah Bolton
Dean of the College
Williams College

NESCAC should make the aggregate data public. Transparency is a hallmark of serious academics. Will they? I doubt it.

If I were a student, I would ask Dean Bolton. If she/NESCAC refused (or even refused to say), I would campaign against the survey by encouraging students to answer it with extreme responses.

Below the break is the (poorly formatted) list of other NESCAC signatories.

Victor Arcelus
Dean of Student Life
Connecticut College

Suzanne Coffey
Chief Student Affairs Officer
Amherst College
Nancy Thompson
Dean of Students
Hamilton College

Josh McIntosh
VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Bates College
Katy Smith Abbott
VP of Student Affairs/ Dean of the College
Middlebury College

Tim Foster
Dean of Student Affairs
Bowdoin College
Mary Pat McMahon
Dean of Student Affairs
Tufts University

Jim Terhune
VP for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students
Colby College
Mike Whaley
VP for Student Affairs
Wesleyan University

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