Nobody Rages Anymore: Administration to Enforce Curfew

The administration has made it clear that change is coming, and a new “curfew” rule is the first of many more likely to come. Beginning this Homecoming Weekend, Safety and Security will effectively shut down parties at 1 AM on weeknights and 2 AM on weekends. This means that at 12:45 and 1:45, respectively, all non-brothers or non-sisters must leave the house hosting the party.

Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP) have only allowed houses to register parties until those times, but for the first time ever, they will break up any party still going. Penalties for not following the orders of the Stasi Safety and Security include probation.

Safety and Security

Safety and Security

The origin of these new procedures is currently unknown, but they are representative of a slew of new policies likely to be put in place this year, such as a hard alcohol ban and further restrictions on Greek parties. So far this year, students report that Safety and Security is policing like never before. An article in an upcoming issue of the Review will address their draconian tactics.

While these times may seem reasonable to an outsider, one must recognize that the Dartmouth social scene does not start until later than most places. Dartmouth students are busy people with many commitments and do not go out until late in the evening. Many parties do not begin until 11:00 or 11:30. For instance, if a fraternity hosts an a capella or similar event after their meetings on a Wednesday, it generally starts at eleven. If this event last for an hour, the attendees will only have forty-five minutes to socialize following the end of the performance.

Other schools like Princeton have similar policies. Most parties at eating clubs (we’ll save their exclusivity for another article) end at 2:00 AM. After this time, many students go to Princeton’s Collis equivalent for late night food.

So what will Dartmouth students do? Collis lacks the capacity for such a mass exodus, and other options are few and far between. Clearly not all students party this late on a regular basis, but Homecoming draws alumni, friends, and a celebratory spirit that may reject a curfew.

What is also troubling about this policy is the top-down manner in which it was implemented and the way it infantilizes the student body. The administration is pushing down orders on a student body it thinks cannot control itself. Student input was apparently absent in deciding this rule. Furthermore, in enforcing a curfew, the administration is effectively saying that students lack the responsibility to control their own social lives.

Most Dartmouth students relish our unique social scene, and realize that despite some flaws, it is better than those at other top schools. As more changes come down from high, it will be interesting to see how students respond. Will the administration have its way, or, like the infamous Student Life Initiative, will the students rally in protest?