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Dartmouth bans alcohol on campus

A US Ivy League college has banned its students from drinking or possessing hard alcohol on campus in a bid to boost its beleaguered reputation.

Dartmouth Campus

The new rules, introduced at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College, follow concerns by its president Philip Hanlon, that high-risk drinking was “hijacking” students’ promise, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The school is currently one of 95 under federal investigation in the US for its handling of sexual harassment and violence and allegations relating to fraternity hazing. The school formed the backdrop for the 1978 film Animal House, which centres on the drunken behaviour of its Alpha Delta fraternity.

In April 2013, when Hanlon took leadership of the school, a “Moving Dartmouth Forward” steering committee was formed in a bid to turn the school’s reputation around.

John Belushi in 1978’s Animal House

This week, Hanlon outlined new rules banning alcohol of 30 proof or higher (15% abv), essentially all spirits, form the school’s campus. Hard alcohol will also no longer be served at public events, including alumni events and fraternity parties.

Pledge or probationary periods for all student groups were also banned, and a four-year sexual violence prevention program was announced.

Hanlon said one of the biggest problems had been due to “pre-gaming”, which involves drinking heavily before a night out.

He said: “Our aspirations will never be realized if we fail to address a vital component: the environment in which our students live and learn”, he said in a speech to students, faculty and staff. “We must recognize a moment in time when change is necessary in order to reach our potential, and now is such a moment.”

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