Dartmouth College has announced it will ban hard liquor on campus in an effort to reduce alcohol-related incidents.
Hard liquor will no longer be served at events open to the public, and penalties for underage students found in possession of hard alcohol will increase in severity, according to The New York Times.
Colleges and universities across the country have been dealing with alcohol-related problems including sexual assaults, fraternity hazing and hospitalizations, the article notes.
Few other colleges, except for ones with religious affiliations, ban hard liquor. It is unlikely other institutions will follow the lead of Dartmouth, despite its Ivy League affiliation, the newspaper states.
"I think you're going to continue to see smaller efforts to step up enforcement, but not a lot of big statements like this," said Kevin Kruger, President of Naspa, a national association of student affairs professionals in Washington. Kruger said while hard alcohol is particularly destructive, the core of the problem is that for many college students, "they're under 21 and it's illegal to drink, period."
Jake G. Rascoff, a student who edits The Dartmouth Review, predicted the new rule will have a negative effect. "It will increase the incidence of surreptitious binge drinking and increase the risk of binge drinking off campus, which will lead to drunk driving," he said.
Several other colleges, including Bowdoin, Bates and Colby in Maine, also have hard-alcohol bans. Some institutions, including Stanford, Swarthmore and Colgate, ban hard alcohol in certain places, and at certain types of events. Brown recently announced it is reviewing its alcohol policy after reports of sexual assaults at two fraternity parties.
Some schools have strong alcohol policies but do not strictly enforce them. At many colleges, fraternities own their houses and the land beneath them, allowing them to operate outside of college policy.