'Moving Dartmouth Forward' plan aims for significant changes to campus culture
- Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon on Thursday announced "Moving Dartmouth Forward," a plan that aims to address the private Ivy League college's reputation for hard partying.
- In an effort to curb campus sexual assaults and risky drinking, among other things, Hanlon's plan forbids hard alcohol possession on campus by students of any age and probationary "pledging" periods by Greek organizations.
- Also included in the plan: a new system of six residential communities with faculty advisers and affiliated graduate students, mandatory sexual violence prevention programs for all students during all four years of undergrad, a requirement that all Greek houses have a male and female faculty sponsor, and efforts to increase student diversity and decrease grade inflation.
This news follows other reforms undertaken at Dartmouth to address its reputation, as well as scrutiny it faced over its handling of campus sexual assaults. Last year, for example, the school's leaders called for more intensive investigations into reported assaults, as well as mandatory expulsion for those found guilty. The new crackdown on hard alcohol applies to drinks that are higher than 30 proof and bans the serving of such drinks at any events open to the public, and those found in possession of hard alcohol will face stiff penalties, Hanlon said during a Thursday speech.
Dartmouth was also one of several institutions targeted by women's rights advocacy group Ultraviolet in online ads that alleged it has a "rape problem."
Of course, Dartmouth also isn't alone in efforts to improve its reputation. The University of Virginia, in particular, has faced similar issues in recent months following the publication of a Rolling Stone article that chronicled an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house. While that article has since been discredited, UVA has still undergone a number of reforms that include a mixed alcoholic drink and punch prohibition for fraternity parties.
Widespread attention was drawn to the handling of campus sexual assaults at large in April, when the Obama administration announced plans to address the issue. Additionally, as the Washington Post and Chronicle of Higher Education have reported, widespread efforts to curb dangerous drinking on campuses are also underway at numerous colleges and universities.
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