Provost John Etchemendy Ph.D. ’82 and President John Hennessy emailed the student body in recent weeks to announce their proposal to stymie alcohol misuse in dorms. Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, the university has proposed a ban on undergraduate students. The ban hopes to reduce alcohol transports, a growing problem most prevalent for students between the ages of 18 and 21.
“As a logician, I try to examine the root causes of problems,” Etchemendy notes in the email, “and in recent years, it has become clear that the number one cause of transports on this campus has been students.” In an interview, Hennessy said similarly: “the statistics don’t lie. We see that the presence of undergraduate students correlates strongly with the shortage of available housing on campus, sexual assaults, and alcohol transports. This ban could nip all these issues in the bud.”
Although many graduate students have openly supported the proposal, several groups have taken issue with the proposal. RFs James and Lucy Griffith expressed concern with the lack of transparency in the decision: “A lot of us feel that this was the right thing to do, but also that the decision making process did not include how much we support it.” A single petition against the decision, now closed, received the signatures of every member of the Undergraduate student body in under 1 hour.
Administrators have since softened their original statement of a ban on undergraduates. “This is a new conversation we would like to have, not a final decision.” The administrators have instigated OpenXChange events, dinner discussions, and a complaints box in the sub basement below Hoover Tower