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Harm Reduction

Dartmouth's commitment to harm reduction, student health, and safety is based on the fundamental belief that a thriving and fully engaged student academic community is directly related to student wellness. In the year ahead, we will continue to focus on harm reduction and efforts to significantly reduce high-risk drinking, sexual misconduct and hazing. Not only do these behaviors cause significant harm, they are also absolutely inconsistent with the principles of a responsible and respectful community.

Questions or suggestions can be submitted via Email.

Harm Reduction Initiatives

Please check back regularly as this site is being updated to increase communication and transparency.

Committee on Student Safety & Accountability (link to follow)

Hazing

High Risk Drinking (link to follow)

Sexual Misconduct

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1)     What is the aim of Dartmouth's proposed harm reduction reforms?

Student well-being and success are our top priorities. With those priorities in mind, our goal is constant improvement; we are continuously seeking more effective ways to enhance student well-being and to promote a responsible and respectful community.

These reforms are one part of our wide-ranging efforts to reduce high-risk behaviors on campus, including education initiatives like BASICS and the Peak Performance program for athletes. They seek to reduce harm through education, new and enhanced policies, and increased accountability.

2)     Why is Dartmouth proposing these reforms now?

Student wellness has long been a focus at Dartmouth. Through the National College Health Improvement Project (NCHIP), Dartmouth has assumed a leading role in tackling high-risk behaviors on college campuses by establishing a Learning Collaborative. While we are making progress, there are more measures we can take to make Dartmouth a healthier community. These reforms continue our focus on harm reduction.

3)     When will the reforms take effect? Is there a grace period?

When finalized, the updated hazing policieswill become effective on Friday, September 21st. Any alleged violations of that policy, as with any other policy or standard, will be handled through the normal undergraduate judicial affairs process. The Hazing Sanctioning Guidelines, however, which establish a framework for increased penalties for hazing violations, will not go into effect until Monday, October 22nd.

In addition, students and student organizations charged with violations of the new hazing policy may present evidence of genuine good faith efforts to comply as a potential mitigating factor in sanctioning. Such efforts might include, but are not limited to, evidence of advance consultation with the department that oversees the group or organization, well-developed new member education plans, and well-developed implementation strategies. In addition, student organizations may consider whether to consult the department that oversees them about the new Fresh Start policy, which may provide organizational amnesty for past behavior provided that all of the terms of Fresh Start are fulfilled.

4)     What is Dartmouth's definition of hazing?

The new College Hazing Policy will go into effect on September 21st. Until then, the existing Hazing Policy as it appears in the Student Handbook continues to apply.

Under New Hampshire law and College policy, hazing is defined as:

"Any act directed toward a student, or any coercion or intimidation of a student to act or to participate in an act, when

(1) Such act is likely or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any person; and

(2) Such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued membership in or association with any organization."

Dartmouth's definition of hazing also includes the following activities if they occur as part of initiation or admission into an organization, group or team, or are required for continued membership in an organization, group or team:

  • The consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances;
  • Removing, damaging or destroying property;
  • Behavior that disrupts College or community activities;
  • Violating any Standard of Conduct or College policy.

The definition of hazing applies whether or not the participants or others perceive the behavior as "voluntary," and regardless of whether the behavior occurs on or off College property or organization premises. Nor will the following be considered as acceptable defenses:

  • Implied or expressed consent of a participant; and,
  • Assertions that the conduct or activity was not "official" or "approved" by a given organization.

5)     Do you have any more details about what activities qualify as hazing?

A complete list of activities that would constitute hazing would not be possible, but hazing can be classified into three categories that would reasonably be expected to affect another person's dignity or well-being: subtle, harassment and violent hazing. Please visit the StopHazing website here for details and examples of each.

6)     What new anti-hazing educational programs are under way as part of these reforms?

Reducing high-risk behaviors will be a focus of Orientation, which will include a presentation by Will Keim, a renowned speaker who will focus on hazing, ethical behavior and helping students identify their core values.

Additionally, all students that are interested in participating in recruitment for Greek Letter Organizations will be required to attend an educational session before recruitment begins.  These sessions will discuss the expectations of recruitment and the pledge experience.  They will address issues of hazing, how students can respond and report, as well as their rights and responsibilities.  Athletics is addressing hazing with each team through their DP2 program.  Other offices with oversight of student organizations are in the process of designing educational programs that are tailored towards those organizations.

Dates and times for education sessions are available here.

7)     What are the new requirements for new member education activities?

All new member education programs need to be submitted for advance approval by the appropriate department responsible for overseeing the organization, group or team involved, such as Dartmouth Athletics, the Office of Greek Letter Organizations and Societies, Outdoor Programs, Student Activities, Residential Education and others.

In deciding whether to approve a new member education program, the responsible department will consider whether the proposed activity constitutes hazing or would be likely to produce physical discomfort, stress, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. New member activities that have not been approved may not occur.

8)     Can individual students be punished for hazing violations?

Yes. Individual undergraduate students found responsible for violations of this policy will be subject to significant individual sanctions, up to and including suspension or permanent separation from the College.

9)     Can organizations be held accountable for hazing? What are the potential sanctions?

Yes. Although an organization or team can only haze through the actions of individuals, organizations and teams have an obligation to uphold the Standards of Conduct and applicable policies, including the Hazing Policy. Organizations that engage in hazing can expect to be held accountable as an organization, group or team.

Organizations found responsible for violating Dartmouth's hazing policy will be subject to significant organizational sanctions, which may include:

  • Multiple terms of Social Probation, during which the organization will be prohibited from hosting any social events or events with alcohol and will be required to comply with educational and other conditions specific to the case, and/or
  • Loss of new member recruitment privileges for a period of a minimum of one year, and/or
  • Loss of competition, travel, programmatic and other privileges associated with acting in the name of the College or representing the College in competitions, events or other activities for a specified period appropriate to the facts and circumstances of the case.

The most serious violations of this policy are likely to result in suspension or revocation of organizational recognition.

10)  Who is responsible for determining individual or organizational sanctions for hazing violations?

Hazing and alcohol policy violations will be referred to the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office and adjudicated by the Committee on Standards and/or the Organizational Adjudication Committee.

Students and organizations may also be liable for criminal and civil penalties that are beyond Dartmouth's control.

11)  Will the organizational sanctions be announced publicly?

Yes. The details of hazing violations, and the consequences to the organization or team, will be reported publicly on a termly basis, provided that a public report would not cause additional harm to the students who have been hazed.

12)  What happens if a student witnesses hazing?

Dartmouth students and employees are required to notify appropriate College officials of any perceived instance of hazing, and can do so anonymously (see Q13).

Any undergraduate identified as a potential witness to hazing must cooperate fully in the course of the investigation or disposition of possible violations of the policy or Standards of Conduct. Cooperation may include meeting or communicating with Safety and Security, the Office of Undergraduate Judicial Affairs, deans or other College officials as requested. Undergraduate student witnesses are expected to participate in College disciplinary hearings as requested.

13)  How can a student report hazing anonymously?

Students may report allegations of hazing, including anonymous reports, 24 hours a day to Safety and Security by calling 646-4000 or sending an email to Safety.and.Security@dartmouth.edu, or to the Hanover Police by calling 911. Beginning on Monday, September 10th, students may report hazing anonymously through a GPS-enabled safety hotline application on their smartphones (see Q14).

Students may also report allegations of hazing to coaches, advisors, undergraduate deans or other College officials who have responsibilities for student organizations.

14)  What is the safety hotline application?

Beginning on Monday, September 10th, students will be able to download a smartphone application from iTunes that will enable them to report incidents of hazing or other violations of college policy. The application will allow students to report by name or anonymously. If the student's GPS is activated, the application will provide Safety and Security the best available location of the caller (GPS is not always exact). This application will supplement reporting options that currently exist, but does NOT substitute for 911 in an emergency. In the event of an immediate emergency, students and community members should dial 911.

15)  Will students who report hazing be granted immunity? How will immunity work in practice?

Students who report activity that may fall within the definition of hazing and who cooperate fully as a witness in the investigation and disciplinary process will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions if their own conduct violated the hazing policy, unless the conduct the students engaged in contributed to physical harm.

Students who choose to report hazing and request immunity for their own conduct under this policy should know that they may be liable for criminal and civil penalties that are beyond Dartmouth's control.

16)  How does the "Fresh Start" organizational amnesty policy work?

Under the "Fresh Start" program, members of an organization, group or team who are concerned that some of the organization's activities do not comply with Dartmouth's hazing policy may confidentially consult their supervising department head (e.g., Athletics, Collis, GLOS, OPO) for guidance. As part of the program, an organization that fully discloses past or recent behavior in violation of the Hazing Policy will receive assistance as the group develops a new plan to replace the prohibited activities. With this disclosure, and full implementation of the program, the organization will not face College disciplinary action for those disclosed activities, unless the conduct contributed to physical harm.

Organizations, groups or teams who choose to report and request amnesty for their conduct under this policy should know that they may be liable for criminal and civil penalties that are beyond Dartmouth's control.

17)  What is a random walk-through? How will it work?

Safety and Security already conducts announced walk-throughs of student residences at Dartmouth. Random walk-throughs will follow a similar protocol, but will be unscheduled and unannounced.

These walk-throughs will cover common spaces in all Dartmouth residential buildings, including residential halls, fraternities and sororities and affinity houses. Private rooms will not be subject to walk-throughs, consistent with current practice, and student guides will accompany officers at walk-throughs conducted in fraternities and sororities whenever possible. Random walk-throughs will occur several times a week across the campus, throughout the year.

18)  Is the administration concerned about the potential increased risk of high-risking drinking in private settings that are not subject to random walk-throughs?

We're concerned about high-risk behavior in any location. All of us must help make sure this campus is safe, and we expect most students will do their part to promote a responsible and respectful community.

19)  What is the connection between alcohol and hazing activities?

According to the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention, 82% of deaths recorded from hazing in the U.S. involve alcohol. Initiatives to curb hazing must therefore involve efforts to curb high-risk drinking.

20)  Why is there a proposed ban on punches?

This ban is an existing policy. Punches, including any common source container of mixed drinks, are strictly prohibited under any circumstances, according to our current Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP). Because consumers often don't know what's in a punch, they may unwittingly consume dangerous levels of alcohol in a short period of time. We've included this existing policy in the proposed reforms because we want to remind the student community that this ban is in place and make clear that students and student organizations will be held accountable for violations.

21)  Why is the trained bartender proposal on hold?

It is important to ensure that alcohol is served in accordance with College policy and state law. Dean Johnson has received extensive feedback from upperclass student organization leaders about the ways in which that goal might be achieved. We are delaying the implementation of this proposal to allow time for further study and student input. With ongoing student input, Dean Johnson and other college officials will continue to review the options this fall.

22)  What is the "Good Sam" policy?

Information about the Good Samaritan policy can be found here. It's worth noting this excerpt:

"Students and/or organizations that seek assistance from [Safety and Security or, through calling 911, local police, fire safety or medical professionals], the individual assisted, and others involved will not be subject to College disciplinary action with respect to the alcohol policy. (This policy does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of College standards, such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual abuse, damage to property, harassment, hazing, etc. Students should also be aware that this College policy does not prevent action by local and state authorities.)"

23)  Will Dartmouth continue to support the Green Team?

Yes. The Green Team is an exciting partnership between Dartmouth students and the administration. We appreciate the Green Team's dedication to contributing to student safety. We will continue to invest in this program by funding the Green Team and party packs at all registered parties and at parties that do not require registration under our current Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP).

24)  Is Dartmouth concerned that not allowing the Green Team to work unregistered events will increase the risk associated with those events?

Dartmouth has a comprehensive safety protocol, including our Social Event Management Procedures (SEMP) and the Green Team, which together help enhance student safety at social events. Having the Green Team work at unregistered events that should be registered undermines SEMP policies and asks the Green Team to shoulder an unfair degree of responsibility, which could potentially increase harm. The better approach is to establish a goal of achieving 100% registration of events that require registration under our current policies.

25)  When are the student forums on the proposed reforms taking place?

The Dean of the College has been conferring with Greek student leaders since May, and with other students since summer term began. The Dean is hosting two student forums – the first was held on July 31st and the second will be held on September 18th at 7pm in Collis Common Ground.

In addition to the forums, we encourage students to share their feedback, questions and suggestions by emailing harm.reduction.reforms@dartmouth.edu.

26)  When did the feedback process begin, and how much opportunity will students be given to participate in the process?

Beginning in the Spring Term, and consistently ever since, the Dean of the College has met with students across campus to discuss measures aimed at harm reduction and heard feedback on what students feel would be most effective. This process will continue at the next forum on September 18. And there will be further opportunities to share insight on how the reforms are working once we start implementing them. We encourage all students who would like to participate in this process to do so. Even if you are not on campus, participation is easy. You can share your feedback, questions and suggestions by emailing harm.reduction.reforms@dartmouth.edu.

27)  How can students not on campus share feedback?

Students can submit their feedback, questions and suggestions via email to harm.reduction.reforms@dartmouth.edu. General responses will be added to this website's FAQs.

28)  How widely has the administration consulted students about the reforms?

This is a campus-wide initiative that will affect all of Dartmouth's student residential community. Student feedback is essential in shaping reforms that will benefit our community and the administration has worked to discuss the proposed reforms as widely as possible. Conversations with student leadership of Greek organizations began in spring 2012 and several measures aimed at harm reduction were discussed, particularly as they relate to hazing. Administrators have also met with leaders of non-Greek organizations, such as the Council on Student Organizations, the Collis Governing Board, and the 2014 Class Council. We are broadening these conversations in the coming weeks.

The Dean of the College hosted a student forum on July 31st, and will host the second on September 18th at 7pm in Collis Common Ground.

Students are also encouraged to share their feedback, questions and suggestions by emailing harm.reduction.reforms@dartmouth.edu.

Last Updated: 11/12/12