Students & Parents | Trusteeship

Drinking on Campus

NEW YORK TIMES   |  October 8, 2013

Dartmouth in the Glare of Scrutiny on Drinking” (news article, Oct. 2) casts light on the drinking culture prevalent at far too many of America’s colleges and universities.

It is estimated that nearly 700,000 students are assaulted every year by another student who has been drinking, and stories are rife about the tragic consequences of widespread alcohol and substance abuse on campus.

While college students should take responsibility for their actions, trustees have amajor role to play in ensuring that their campuses don’t become breeding grounds for alcohol-related problems.

In too many places, the party starts on Thursday because students can avoid Friday classes, and academic expectations are so low that studying hard is no longer a condition for getting an A. According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, 37 percent of college seniors study 10 hours a week or less.

Trustees and administrators need to recognize that if they want to address the campus party culture, they need to undertake a close examination of how well their institutions are fulfilling their academic missions. By insisting on classes at 8 a.m. and on Friday, and by demanding a culture of academic rigor and seriousness, trustees can reclaim the academic high ground and save a few lives as they do so.


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