Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here!

The freshmen Greek ban continues.

The freshmen Greek ban continues.

As joyous hordes of freshmen storm our campus, roaming its halls in ‘shmobs hungry for a taste of the Dartmouth social scene, the class of 2017 returns to campus with the knowledge that it is no longer unique. What began as an experimental attempt to decrease underage drinking has continued this year: the class of 2018 will be the second class in Dartmouth history to be denied the opportunity to attend Greek parties and events that serve alcohol during its first six weeks in this lonesome New Hampshire town.

The policy will continue as it did last year, with a few technical and wishful cultural changes. The new Greek Board on Accountability will now oversee compliance, ensuring that no freshmen enter Greek houses that serve alcohol unless for a specific nonalcoholic event. Consequences for fraternities in violation of this folic will include fines, while freshmen who trespass will be forbidden from rushing until the end of their sophomore year. Many organizations involved have also renewed calls for more “dry” events aimed at freshmen.

While students and administrators alike have expressed a plethora of opinions regarding the freshmen fraternity ban, the statistics show a clear trend… or at least appear to do so. All key indicators of alcohol related incidents are at record lows. Most significant was the drop in Good Samaritan “Good Sam” calls, whereby students can report dangerous levels of intoxication in their peers with immunity (aside from mandatory training for the reported party). These dropped from 48 calls in the fall of 2012 to 37 in the fall of 2013. While champions of the fraternity ban claim these statistics show its effectiveness, others propose that they represent a disturbing trend, in which freshmen are more reluctant to seek official help for dangerous incidents occurring during unsupervised dormitory parties.

While the ban itself is contentious, and many freshmen may be disappointed about these missed weeks of fraternity life, all can agree that it is important to continue to address the underlying issue of dangerous drinking. The Review encourages freshmen to stay safe and to take full advantage of the College’s safety resources, such as making the occasional Good Sam on their dangerously drunk buddies.