Security’s policy creates problems

To the Editor:

I know that the issue of drinking on campus (and the administration’s new policy to this issue) has been brought up many times already this year. However, I feel that this issue is not going to disappear easily; instead, I think it is only going to get worse.

With security’s new “community policing” in effect the College is conveying to the students that they do not trust us, even in our own common rooms. The college should realize that almost all of the people at Williams are responsible adults, and the few who aren’t are the ones who have brought on this unfortunate situation we are in now. Being responsible adults, the students that are drinking underage should be accountable for their actions.

Even so, when I was leaving to come to college I was looking forward to a place where I would have more freedom than high school, a place where the administration would not be hovering over me at every moment, and a place where I could fully become an adult. So far, Williams has not been this place. The social scene at Williams reminds me so much of my high school, a place where the administration watches over the students at lunch to make sure there is no mischief. Personally, that disappoints me. Of course, I realize that underage drinking is illegal, but security’s policy of almost zero tolerance is only going to result in a greater evil.

I find it funny that the school believes that by randomly walking through entries and dorms and by cracking down on students at parties it is going to reduce drinking. Instead of having this effect, it is going to be the exact opposite. Instead of drinking less, students are going to resort to drinking hard alcohol faster in order to not get caught. Most likely, they will pound shots in their room and then go to parties – doesn’t that sound fun? I think that this creates more of a problem for security than students going to parties and drinking some beers.

Now, you ask how I know that this is the situation that will occur. I know that binge drinking is going to occur because I am a student at Williams and I have already seen it occur. I know of people who are so stressed out about being caught drinking by security that they drink in their rooms before going to parties. I think that the faculty, administration, students and everyone else in the Williams community should read “The Battle of the Binge” in the October 24, 1999 issue of the New York Times Magazine. This article discusses the subject of binge drinking and it discusses other campuses. Also, I think the school should take a good look at its party and drinking policy and see what direction would be better.

I realize that the school is responsible for the students here but I think a better solution can be worked than what we have now. I encourage the administration, College Council or anyone else who would like to discuss this issue to contact me at 02tgs@williams.edu.

From a concerned student,

Garry Sanders ’02