I agree with Asch. Dartmouth has Standards of Conduct and a Committee on Standards to adjudicate offenses. Relying solely on internal measures should be appropriate in cases which involve minor quantities of drugs, just as Dartmouth does not call in the Hanover Police to arrest students every time Safety & Security come across a student who has been drinking. Whenever possible, Dartmouth should strive to have its students not be arrested.
What could the Wright administration possibly be thinking?
Education should be the College’s goal, not delivering students to the local police and cutting off their financial aid. Can’t the administration find its way to an understanding that certain controlled substances in small quantities constitute a victimless offense by Dartmouth undergraduates? Couldn’t Safety and Security simply oblige students to destroy offending contraband and confiscate any drug paraphernalia that officers might find in the course of their rounds?
Of course I am not advocating that students descend into the hell of reefer madness. But why does the Wright administration come down so hard on students for an activity that is benevolently accepted at every other school in the Ivy League?
Dartmouth presents itself as acting in loco parentis. Well, we should ask just what kind of parents report their own children for a marijuana cigarette butt and a couple of pipes? And what kind of college administration, as its first reflex, turns its students over to the police and jeopardizes their present and future education?
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Dartmouth's Handling of Drug Infractions
Following up his articles about Dartmouth's alcohol policy, Joseph Asch '78 wrote an opinion article about Dartmouth's policy regarding drugs. According to Asch, whenever Safety & Security find drugs, even in the smallest quantities, they alert the Hanover Police about it, who then have the ability to use a search warrant to discover the name of the student who possessed them. This differs from Dartmouth's policy during the Freedman administration which was to only notify the police if the quantity of drugs was large enough that drug trafficking was suspected. Asch concludes: