“Following a series of high-profile reports of sexual assaults at universities around the U.S.,” TIME reports, Dartmouth has just announced a ban on hard alcohol on campus.
Dartmouth president Phillip J. Hanlon has a plan to address what the Wall Street Journal refers to as “a rising tide of complaints that have tarnished the school’s reputation.”
Here’s what the Journal says about the complaints, but it sounds like this could benefit from further investigation:
Faculty requests to close fraternities and rein in the drinking culture at Dartmouth have issued for decades and come to nothing. They resurfaced again and took on added gravity when a series of sexual assaults preceded a 14% drop in applications two years ago. Last April, Mr. Hanlon announced that “enough was enough” and created a task force to oversee a course correction at the school.
Ironically, the fraternity-related complaints seem to have come from a now-debunked article in—wait for it—Rolling Stone relating the story of Andrew Lohse, a Dartmouth grad who’d written a tell-all about fraternity hazing at Dartmouth. New fraternity members, Lohse charged, were made to swim in kiddie pools full of vomit and semen.
In 2012, the College launched an investigation into [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] in response to Lohse’s public account. Later that year, the College charged SAE and 27 of its members with hazing violations. Charges against all 27 members were later dropped.
College spokesperson Justin Anderson wrote in a statement at the time that “information initially presented to the UJAO supported the charges. Information received subsequently, however, indicated that the initial information contained inaccuracies and was not a sufficient basis for the charges to proceed to hearing.”
The withdrawal of charges came two days after Rolling Stone magazine published an article featuring Lohse’s account of hazing at Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
It is, as they say, deja vu all over again.
Back to the present day, here’s what the Journal says about Hanlon plan:
Mr. Hanlon’s 6-page plan is a series of directives largely absent of detail. It calls for a four-year sexual violence prevention education program and a “consent manual,” which is to include “realistic scenarios and potential sanctions to reduce ambiguity about what is and what is not acceptable.”
The Journal adds this rather odd paragraph:
Once dominated by wealthy, white men the student bodies at colleges and universities across the nation are now nearly 60% female and 40% nonwhite and some students believe institutional norms haven’t kept pace with the changing demographics.
Colleges and universities across the country were all once dominated by wealthy white men? The remnants of which are apparently responsible for an “epidemic” of sexual assault on campus?
Just like the women at UVa who are told whom they can and can not socialize with, Dartmouth students may now find that their pleas for greater university involvement in their affairs has unintended consequences. Next up, we can expect universities to establish curfews and dress codes, and policies to make sure that their students are brushing their teeth.