The Alcohol Policy is ratified each year at Fall Plenary, normally without much dissent in voting, but each year many speak up about problems in the way the student body respects the policy on campus. The Policy has been ratified like clockwork each year, without any changes made to it, for recent institutional memory. The Honor Code is ratified each year at Spring Plenary, every once in a while it even fails ratification the first time around, changes are often made and passed, Haverford has one of the only Honor Codes in the country that changes at such a rate. There have been problems expressed about the Social Code, just as there have been problems expressed about the alcohol policy – do they work as written in practice?
On Sunday night we got a wake up call. Steven Watter, Dean of Student Life, sent out a campus wide email – a message of concern. While, he remarked, this was one of many wake up calls over the years about this, it was not to be taken lightly. This year, the night of Snowball brought a, “nearly unprecedented number of students required assistance owing to issues related directly to the (over)consumption of alcohol” said Dean Watter.
The alcohol policy may be ratified every year without a second thought for some, but it appears it may not always be working in practice. Even at the relatively uncontroversial Fall 2014 Plenary, a main moment of contention came up when it came time to ratify the Policy. With students feeling it just doesn’t always work, and a discussion needed to be had. All three branches of student government will be coming together to host a discussion on this.
This Wednesday, at 7:30PM in Ryan Gym, Honor Council, Students’ Council, and JSAAPP will be co-hosting a discussion on the Alcohol Policy & The Social Code. Is the policy working in practice? Is confrontation effective while under the influence of alcohol, does it even happen? What does it mean to have student self-governance, and what can we do to help remedy this concerning series of events? Come bring your questions and discuss anything and everything related to this. There will be milk and insomnia cookies, we hope to see you there!