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The Green Team at Unregistered Parties?
In France, a heroin addict can walk into a pharmacy and buy sterile hypodermic syringes, no questions asked. I know because I have done so, uh, I mean, bought the syringes (for use in a publicity video), not done the heroin. Why does France ease an addict’s effort to administer drugs? Simple. If the state did not take this posture, addicts would share needles, and in the process increase the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Name your poison. France has taken the decision that one bad choice — heroin use — is less of a social ill (and a less costly one for state-funded medical care) than infection with HIV/AIDS.
This same issue has been debated endlessly in many communities in America. To me, the position contrary to France’s has always smacked (sorry) of intellectual rigidity, of a dogmatism that puts foolish consistency ahead of a pragmatic concern for greater health issues.
So it is with the College’s thoughtless, potentially destructive decision to not fund Green Team attendance at parties that are not registered with the College. It seems that the administration’s formal obligation of registering parties is more important to Dean Johnson and Carol Folt (and the Trustees, who are now taking an ever more active role in the day-to-day management of the College) than the effective efforts of Green Team members to keep students safe.
This same rigid attitude manifested itself earlier in the year when the Dean of the College’s Office brought charges for hazing against whistleblower Andrew Lohse. The prosecution was based solely on Lohse’s own testimony about events that he had witnessed at SAE. The Dean also brought charges against 27 members of SAE, but that prosecutorial effort fell apart when Lohse noted that the Dean’s staffers had incorrectly transcribed his testimony. Was anyone surprised that he would do that? After all, who would want to incriminate themselves?
We can lay responsibility for this kind of distorted thinking squarely at the feet of Charlotte Johnson Esq., an alumnus of University of Michigan Law School. Either she is the driving force behind the punitive policies involving hazing and the Green Team, or she does not have the nerve to stand up to Carol Folt and the Trustees for obliging her to implement rules that she knows are wrong. Given that she has a three-year contract, she should show a little resolve and do the right thing.
Dartmouth’s policy was laughed at derisively by several law enforcement officials with whom I spoke. One went so far to say that he now understands why Johnson is no longer practicing law.
But laughter is the least of it. When one day a student dies after drinking at an unregistered party — one that is unsupported by the Green Team because of the Dean’s inane rules — the College is going to need serious legal defense. Hey everyone, how does it feel to be hanging on the edge of a precipice?
October 18, 2009
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We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
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September 4, 2009
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August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
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August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…