The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Best think when you drink

For the 2001-2002 school year, some changes have been made to the drug and alcohol policy for Guilford students. “In thinking about the concerns raised by students last spring about the campus living environment, we concluded that while our policies on substance abuse were sound, our enforcement and sanctioning practices were weak,” said Mona Olds, Dean of Student Life. “ It was clear we needed to improve in those areas in order to make campus living conditions better for all students.”

The most drastic change in the policy are the fines that students now pay for drug and alcohol offenses. On a student’s first alcohol offense, he or she will have to pay a $75 fine. On the first drug or the second alcohol offense, a student has to pay $200.

Some students have expressed concern over the idea of fines. “ The first offense [$75 fine] seems a little harsh.” said Cindy Holloway, a sophomore living in Shore.

The first weekend of the fall semester saw 10alcohol-related incidents. Mike Maze, a 21-year-old junior living in Bryan, received a $75 fine. “ Last year, standing three feet away from a full porch [with alcohol] would not have even been questioned.” said Maze. “ This year I have to pay $75, and, as opposed to last year, I’m of legal age.”

Mona Olds said that the reason for this year’s first offense penalty including a $75 fine was that last year’s first offense penalty of community service was not being taken seriously enough. She said that students last year would be up for their second offense of suspension or dismissal and felt that the community service had not given them enough of a warning. Olds said that all of the money collected from the fines goes towards next year’s substance abuse budget.

”We as students pay thousands and thousands to go here every year.” said Eben Dennis, a junior living in Bryan. “ With the large size of the incoming freshmen class it surprises me that the school is still in such financial trouble that it needs to squeeze more money out of us.”

The old substance abuse policy was vague in nature, not always fully explaining a rule. For instance, the policy stated that, “possessing an open container of alcohol by any student in an unauthorized area is prohibited.” Yet nowhere in the policy did it explain where the unauthorized areas were.

This year’s policy notes, “unauthorized areas include public spaces such as the campus grounds, academic and administrative buildings, residence hall common spaces, the quad areas of the apartments of Bryan, residence hall hallways/balconies and stairwells.” It goes on to say that students of legal age may drink in their rooms, the room of another student of legal age, on the steps and porch of the apartments, or in a designated area where an event has been approved.

Many students that are of age have become upset over new rules applying to them. “It’s like these people are trying to be parents to over a thousand students, which you can’t do.” said Jonathan Horwitz, a 21-year-old senior residing in the apartments.

“One reason why a good percentage of young people rebel, such as drinking underage, is because elders take away that privilege.”

Horwitz went on to quote Lao Tzu. “If a shepherd tries to control the actions of every sheep, they scatter. The wise sage simply watches the actions of the livestock, letting them do whatever. They eventually come back, thus they follow the wisdom of the sage.” Horwitz said he wants everyone to reevaluate our approach to drug and alcohol problems altogether.

One common question from the student body has been whether or not the Community Senate had a say in writing the policy.

“I was told that since it was not a change of the policy, but rather a clarification of the sanctions, Senate did not need to be included in the approval.” said Megan Paige, Senate president. “I was shown the policy, but not involved in the writing.”

Some Guilford students feel that Senate should have been more involved in the actions taken. “The exclusion of Senate from any consequential role in the decision-making on this matter makes a mockery of that institution, as well as the principle of consensus which must be embraced unfalteringly by any school which considers itself Quaker.” said Scott Morgan a junior living in Bryan.

Despite the controversy, the students and the administration agree that the Guilford campus needs to be a safe place where people can enjoy themselves. In previous years, on average, over a half-dozen students have needed to go to the hospital for drug- and alcohol-related problems. The Guilford community is attempting to come together to solve that problem in a way that will satisfy everyone.

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