H-Po Changes Procedure

This just landed in Blitz inboxes all across campus from Acting Dean of the College Dr. Sylvia Spears, Ph.D

The Hanover Police Department has recently made a procedural change in its response to alcohol emergencies involving underage students in need of immediate medical attention.

Responding Hanover officers will continue to assist the Hanover Fire Department at the scene but will not issue the underage person a citation at that time. If the underage person qualifies according to department guidelines for diversion, the responding officer will leave a Hanover Alcohol Diversion Program brochure with them and follow this up with an email notification reminding them of their obligation to contact the diversion program coordinator within seven (7) days in order to enroll in the program. A future record check at Hanover Police Department would indicate that the person had been referred to diversion in lieu of prosecution. Any person failing to contact the diversion coordinator within the specified time period will be served a summons and referred to court.

I view this as a very positive procedural change that enhances our efforts toward harm reduction. This new change in procedure is not to be taken as a license to engage in the reckless and dangerous use of alcohol. It is imperative that we continue our efforts to reduce excessive consumption of alcohol on campus. The responsibility is now on our community to foster a positive social atmosphere that sets new norms around the safe consumption of alcohol.

The work of the Student and Presidential Alcohol Harm Reduction Committee (SPAHRC) is critical in the identification and implementation of best practices for the safe management of alcohol on campus. We will continue to work with Hanover Police and the Town to address common concerns regarding alcohol. Hanover Police have graciously agreed to suspend compliance checks at this time. However, the onus is on our community to show progress in reducing unsafe drinking at Dartmouth.

As I have said on many occasions, my worst fear is that I will have to call the family of a student and tell them that their son or daughter has died as a result of the excess consumption of alcohol. Every student on our campus must play an active role in addressing this urgent call to action.

Taking care of each other is a hallmark tradition of the Dartmouth student community and we are hopeful that this change will only strengthen that tradition.

Looks like you may be able to put down those pitchforks you took up during the time the alcohol stings came out.