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Dartmouth to Ban Hard Alcohol and Pledging Process on Campus


February 20, 2015
by Suada Kolovic
Long gone are the days when pledging to a fraternity was about a bond and brotherhood that lasts a lifetime. More recently they have become synonymous with hard-partying, high-risk drinking and despicable hazing rituals. Well, Dartmouth's president is taking a stand: Last month, Philip J. Hanlon announced sweeping changes aimed at curbing dangerous behavior on campus, saying the school will ban hard liquor, forbid pledging at fraternities and sororities, and require all students to undergo a four-year sexual violence prevention program.

Long gone are the days when pledging to a fraternity was about a bond and brotherhood that lasts a lifetime. More recently they have become synonymous with hard-partying, high-risk drinking and despicable hazing rituals. Well, Dartmouth's president is taking a stand: Last month, Philip J. Hanlon announced sweeping changes aimed at curbing dangerous behavior on campus, saying the school will ban hard liquor, forbid pledging at fraternities and sororities, and require all students to undergo a four-year sexual violence prevention program.

The major overhaul, called "Moving Dartmouth Forward," came from recommendations of a special committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni. The new alcohol restrictions, which will begin this spring semester, ban the possession or consumption of alcohol that is 30 proof or stronger and increase penalties for students caught with hard liquor. The changes will also tackle how fraternities induct new members: Moving forward, they will be prohibited from pledging. And in addition to the required assault-prevention training, the college will create an online "consent manual" that will include information designed to reduce ambiguity about what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to sexual behavior. "If in the next three to five years, the Greek system does not engage in meaningful, lasting reform, and we are unsuccessful in sharply curbing harmful behaviors, we will need to revisit its continuation on our campus," Hanlon said. (For more on this story, head over to the Chronicle.)

What are your thoughts on the changes Dartmouth is imposing on Greek Life? Do you think it will sway dangerous behavior? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And if you're interested in learning more about adjusting to campus life and the college lifestyle, check out our Resources section. While you're there, conduct a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com for a complete list of scholarships that are personalized to you!

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Rose M  on  3/3/2015 9:11:31 PM commented:

It's about time. ..and when will the rest of the country follow suit?

Terry S.  on  2/27/2015 8:23:43 PM commented:

I am happy to hear about,"Moving Dartmouth Forward." This is going to help and teach upcoming new students about the risk and dangers that can happen at these parties. They may know the risk and dangers, but Dartmouth is going to teach them a more in depth insight to the dangers. Things have gotten out if hand and many horrid things go on at these parties. Cases such as rape, assaults, even overdosing. I just really hope this will help out and I give much thanks to the president Hanlon.

Terry S.  on  2/27/2015 8:12:10 PM commented:

I do believe ,"Moving Dartmouth Forward" should go into full swing. This will help the younger generation learn about the dangers in using alcohol during these parties. I'm sure they already know some of the risk and dangers, but this will help them learn more. I know some fraternities that have a really bad wrap due to these horrid parties, such as rape and assaults.

Angela Hodgeson  on  2/25/2015 12:12:44 PM commented:

So happy to hear that there is a school with a leader for our kids! As a parent I hope more schools follow this example.

Recently?  on  2/24/2015 6:29:56 PM commented:

Nothing has changed. Fraternities and sororities have been kicked off campus for years. My dad's Alpha chapter was kicked off my college campus before I attended in the late 1970's and two sororities have been punished for excessive drinking at my same alma mater. Sometimes it is the culture at the college, not just the fraternity or sorority. I have two sons in fraternities in college currently. One maintains over a 3.0 average and does not drink. His younger brother just pledged a fraternity this year, his freshman year, and he is doing fine and has wonderful friends and brothers who know where to draw the line. Not every fraternity should be painted with the same broad brush.

Rob M.  on  2/24/2015 5:45:51 PM commented:

The thoughts and actions of president Hanlon are for the good of the students putting the self in these situations. As a fraternity member and now a parent of a student going to college I am obviously concerned for the students going through the pledging process. At my college campus a few of us were concerned about the process we were using during rush week to gain members of the pledge class for the year. We worked with our national fraternity office to instill the designation of being a "Dry" fraternity. This did have an impact on our membership but the type of individuals we gained were better students, better all around citizens and better life long members. Did we have students who went to the bar, attended parties and got in trouble, yes. But they made decisions to do this on their own rather than a fraternity instigating it. My fraternity was one of the best things I did in college from a leadership standpoint. I'm sure there will be a lot of blowback from this decision.

Elise Manning  on  2/24/2015 4:23:45 PM commented:

I think it is great...most are underaged anyway and there should be no alcohol...that being said we know they are going to drink, but why to such extremes? There is an incredible story out there called HAZE. It is about a Boulder Colorado freshman who was pledging a fraternity and passed out...they wrote all over his body instead of calling 911 and he died! The parents had to bury him with sharpie writing all over his beautiful body...I cannot get this out of my mind now that I have a freshman in college. I forbid him to join a frat! I told him we would not pay for school. They are NOTHIN but bad news and all about drinking way too much!

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