On April 2nd Goucher President Sanford Ungar emailed the student body with a copy of the new alcohol and drug policy created by the Biennial review committee, comprising of various students, staff, and faculty members.
“We understand that students will make their own choices about using alcohol and other drugs,” Ungar admitted. “We also believe, as part of our community principle of responsibility, that students should be held accountable for their choices.”
While the review process is federally required, President Ungar made no qualms about the reason for the increase in severity of the sanctions, stating that “a number of students continue to engage in dangerous conduct on campus that threatens their own health and safety as well as that of other students.”
The changes to the sanctions, while subtle, are substantial. For example, for the first offense against the fire safety policy– burning a candle, violating the hookah policy, or tampering with fire extinguishers, among other things–students will see a $250 fine, parent notification, probation, and a judicial board referral. The big change comes in the second offense, which will result in a higher fine and automatic removal from the residence halls or suspension/dismissal from the college.
Similarly, a “Level II” first offense drug violation, will result in a $150 fine and parental notification while a second offense will result in a $200 fine, parental notification, police referral, assessment by licensed councilor, and possible suspension or dismissal from the college.
In terms of alcohol violations, the committee instituted a four level policy. The first is underage possession and violating the open container rule, the second includes public intoxication, possessing a keg, and possessing a fake ID, and the third consists of violating the drinking games policy, supplying alcohol to underage students, and presenting a fake ID. The fourth level includes being convicted of a DUI/DWI or manufacturing of a fake ID. With the first offense, the sanctions range from simply having a meeting with a staff member (Level I) to possible removal from the college (Level IV).
While fines have been increased on almost all fronts, an addendum to the policy states: “All fines and educational sanctions imposed will be credited to an account to defray the costs of educational sanction programs, educational speakers, longitudinal data collection and surveys, and late-night alcohol free programming.”
“We have much to be proud of here at Goucher,” Ungar reassured at the end of his email to the Goucher community, and “your safety is our most urgent concern.”