No charges filed

Yesterday, Northern Berkshire District Court Chief Magistrate Dennis D’Arcangulo ruled in a show cause hearing that there was insufficient evidence in the complaint that the Williamstown Police Department brought against Williams College Security. Because of this, no charges were filed and the case was dismissed.

The complaints were that the Security officers (1) aided persons under 21 to procure alcohol and (2) illegally stored alcoholic beverages. The WPD brought these complaints against Director of Security, Jean Thorndike-Wilson, Assistant Director of Security, David Boyer, and Security Officers Dennis J. Richard, Peter Mazzacco, John Franz and William Noyes.

Thorndike-Wilson said, of the day’s proceedings, “I am delighted by the outcome. I was told by the attorney there would be no charges against us.”

Boyer noted, “Today seems anti-climatic to me. It seemed obvious that there was little basis for the charges.”

He continued, “I found the whole process very frustrating because I didn’t have a voice in anything. I couldn’t defend myself; I couldn’t express myself.”

This ruling is part of the larger picture facing the College community: the party policy. Dean of the College Peter Murphy remarked, “An ad hoc committee currently is working on the party policy. It will be presenting a plan in the next few weeks. At that time students will be able to voice their opinions through the College Council and the Committee for Undergraduate Life.”

After these groups have voiced their opinions, the party policy will become permanent.

Murphy continued, “The committee will likely to be finished before Spring Break. My preference would be that student voices are heard in the CC or CUL. I think the students realize, however, that we have hard choices to make and some students might be unhappy.”

Last night, at the House Presidents’ Meeting, Thorndike-Wilson said, “Future parties will have to continue to provide a method of identifying 21 year-olds.” Such methods include proof of age and use of wristbands or handstamps.

The party policy will continue to include party hosts and trained alcohol servers. In fact, the College soon will implement Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS), in which students will be trained to serve alcoholic beverages.

Jon Foreman ‘00, who is already TIPS certified, said of the idea, “Although I commend the College for offering the program, I remain skeptical that students, once certified, will be any more eager to act as trained servers than they have been to act as hosts.”