Dartmouth College will ban hard liquor on campus starting this spring and by fall will require all students to take part in a sexual violence prevention program all four years they’re enrolled at the Ivy League school.
Dartmouth has long tried to move past its hard-partying reputation, but the latest steps come amid a national furor over sexual assault on college campuses and the role drinking plays in the violence.
“Colleges and universities across the country face the issues I’ve detailed today,” President Philip Hanlon said. “We are not alone in facing them, but we will take the lead in saying, ‘No more.'”
Other colleges, including Colby, Bates and Bowdoin in Maine, have banned hard liquor on campus. Dartmouth officials said the school will be the first in the Ivy League to take such a step, and the first college or university aside from military academies to require four-year sexual violence prevention education. Many colleges require students to take part in one-time programs, almost always during their freshman year.
Dartmouth, which partly inspired the 1978 comedy “Animal House,” received nationwide attention for allegations of fraternity hazing several years ago, and it’s one of 95 schools under federal investigation for its handling of sexual harassment and violence. Students protested at Hanlon’s office last spring with a long list of demands aimed at creating a more inclusive, diverse campus.[…]
No student organization will be allowed to engage in pledging or putting new members on probationary status – a move fraternities and sororities made this fall.
“Hazing is already outlawed on our campus … so what’s being eliminated is the pledge term. Once you join, you’re a full member,” Hanlon said.
Hanlon believes the most transformational change will be the creation of new housing communities designed to give students more options for both social interaction and learning outside the classroom.
Starting with the class of 2019, incoming students will be placed into one of six communities that will include a cluster of residence halls that will serve as a home base even for those who live elsewhere. Each community will have a faculty adviser and graduate students in residence and will host social and academic programs.
Allison Moskow, a 1985 Dartmouth graduate whose son graduated last year, was optimistic about Hanlon’s plans, particularly the overhaul of the residential system.
“To really look at residential life and offer alternatives to walking through Greek doors is nothing new but essential,” she said. “There are campuses around the world that encourage learning and fun, and there’s no reason why Dartmouth can’t do that.”