I am writing to congratulate you on taking a very good, but controversial, stance on drinking. I agree that the proper stance for the College to take on drinking would be to promote responsible drinking instead of trying to prohibit underage drinking totally. Underage drinking is a big problem, but it is a problem that will never be stopped, no matter what the college tries to do. If the College continues with the security walk through program and tries to incorporate the use of the Williamstown Police, the only consequences are going to be more drinking related health problems and accidents. By taking a stricter stance on drinking, the College is going to cause students to stop drinking beer socially and start drinking hard alcohol behind closed doors.
More importantly, I think that the actions of the College and security this year have not brought about the results that they wanted. Instead of making students feel more comfortable around security, students are becoming more suspicious and resentful of security’s intrusive tendencies and their disregard for privacy.
I find it ironic that in the same paper with articles about applicants to the school decreasing there are articles about stricter drinking policies. I think that reason that the number of applicants to Williams this year decreased from last could be because the administration is making college life not as fun here as at other schools. Of course, I realize that the administration has a duty to keep the students of Williams safe, but they also must realize that almost all the students here are adults, and should be responsible for themselves. Being responsible means making decisions such as drinking underage. However, when a student starts doing something that could endanger other students, security should step in to prevent anything from happening. Instead of preventing students from drinking with their friends in common rooms or at parties, maybe security should prevent people from driving while intoxicated around campus or prevent people who are drunk from destroying school property and insulting others (in relation to the article “You f#&%ing dildos: three students offer thoughts and reactions on a random act of hatred, ignorance”).
I think it would be much better for security to punish people who act irresponsibly when they drink, and try to prevent irresponsible behavior from occurring, rather than punishing the entire school. In short, by conducting walk-throughs, Security is preventing students from drinking socially. The students may be underage and breaking the law; but it is better than binge drinking with hard alcohol, which leads to many more drinking related hospital visits and accidents. Instead of promoting safety, Security is actually causing more problems for themselves and the entire school, and it will only get worse if Security works with the WPD to conduct walk-through’s and campus policing.
Garry Sanders ’02