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Scot’s Key alcohol policy changed

Student lounges and hallways have been designated “dry” areas for the rest of the semester

Emily Bartelheim & Ramsey Kincannon

News Editors

As of Jan. 27, the Scot’s Key has been edited and presented to the College community in order to coincide with the opening of the fall term, when every first-year reads and signs it.

This year, the Scot’s Key was delayed, leaving many rules and decisions in limbo until this year’s version was presented to the campus. The updated version includes a number of changes, ranging from “Academic Information, Campus Facilities and Services, Life at the College [policies and procedures] and Codes of Community and Individual Responsibility.” According to Carolyn Buxton, senior associate dean of students, “the most noted changes made in this year’s Scot’s Key are the changes made to the Code of Social Responsibility.”

In the past, the Scot’s Key required students to vote on whether a lounge was wet or dry. After the new revision to the document, all lounges will be delegated as wet or dry by administration. Lounges and hallways across the entire campus are to remain dry for the remainder of the 2012 academic year. This change in the Code of Social Responsible, Section IV., Drugs, A. Alcohol, was “a direct response by Campus Council to student request to assume greater responsibility in the residence halls for social activities which may involve alcohol,” Buxton said.

Christie Kracker, associate dean of students, explained the instigation of the changes: “Last spring [2011] there was a subcommittee of Campus Council who worked with several students and faculty/staff members as well as myself on reviewing the policy. The students discussed the idea of designating various lounges as either study or recreational.”

After this spring semester, administration will designate which lounges will be wet and which will be dry. “The subcommittee … [identified] that these locations may change from year to year given the building’s status. For example, First Year Center versus all-Senior environment,” Kracker said.

Many have agreed with the administration’s decision to designate the lounges as recreational or study-oriented.  Megan Piemonte ’13 thinks “it’s better to designate them as wet or dry.  When you give students the opportunity to vote, they end up not showing up or getting angry at their peers.” Colleen Bartman ’12 said “people can choose their dorms around [the volume and rowdiness of a hall],” and that labeling these lounges can help with that.

During a hall meeting in Stevenson, RAs Kristen Schwartz ’12 and Kemar Reid ’12 answered students’ oppositions to the change: “We were told that up until this point the residents have already become accustomed to these spaces being dry, so the staff didn’t think it would be fair to change it at this point in the semester.”

Matt Porter ’12, when informed of this policy change, said “I didn’t know any of the lounges were dry, to be honest. If you’re going to keep a policy consistent, you have to tell me there’s a policy.”

Other upperclassmen have objected to the school’s commitment to keeping the dorms dry, even though they agree with the new changes to the Scot’s Key.  Claire Stragand ’13 stated that “I think [the old voting policy] should be changed and there should be designated wet lounges depending on class year.  Next year, I think it’s a good policy, but they should be [enacting it] now. It’s a matter of people getting written up or not.”

“It is important to remind students that … [they] should know if they are interested in a particular issue they should attend Campus Council meetings and voice their concerns,” Buxton said. “Campus Council is the body which governs most non-academic policies and practices.” As in the past, students of 21 years and older may still consume alcohol in their dormitory rooms. Their doors may be open, but no open containers are allowed in the hallways.



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