Proctors supervising high school students at the Summer School were told in a meeting Monday to keep a close watch for alcohol use among their charges.
Summer School officials said yesterday that the discussions of alcohol use were routine and not caused by any problems so far this summer. Several proctors said they viewed the warnings as a "crack-down" and a shift from an implied policy of leniency.
"What they told us originally was that, since the high school kids are under age, they shouldn't go to bars and liquor stores, but there was the implication that if they were in their rooms and not making noise or trouble we shouldn't bust people for drinking," one proctor said. At Monday's meeting, the message was "even if you see people using alcohol responsibly, confiscate it and report the student," the proctor added.
Anne E. McDonald, head of the secondary school program, said yesterday. "There has been no crackdown." The discussion at Monday's regular proctor meeting, she said, was "just a going over, a re-emphasizing of things from orientation."
"We felt we had been nebulous regarding the subject at (proctor's) orientation." John Hayes, a senior counselor in the secondary school program and an assistant to McDonald who was at the Monday meeting, said yesterday. "Maybe they didn't get the message then, but they have gotten it now," he added.
Interviews with several proctors all of whom asked not to be identified indicated that most viewed the new policy as a crackdown and had warned their proctees that any use of alcohol was forbidden.
"We were asked to keep a much closer lookout for drinking, especially in areas like the steps of the Yard dorms," one proctor said.
"They advised us to rewarn proctees that alcohol is strictly against the rules," one proctor who also worked with high school students last year, said. "In the past, the rules have been very, very vague, and it's been pretty much up to the proctors," he added.
In past years, proctors have often allowed "a can or even a sixpack, if kids are quiet and well-behaved. But Tuesday night. I told them if I see beer cans you're going to go to the dean's office," the proctor added. Summer school officials made it clear that out next talk to kids was to serve as the final warning...It's definitely a crackdown," he added.
Summer School officials said there had been no serious incidents involving alcohol use, and that drinking was no more of a problem than in past years. "It's not that there's a lot of alcohol floating around," Hayes said.
But proctors and students reported several large parties and incidents of drunkenness last weekend. "They told us last weekend was bad, worse then they had expected," one proctor said. "It's a lot worse than last year," one proctor who held the same job last summer said.
Several sources said a female student suffered a broken arm at the hands of an intoxicated male student. There were also several reports of students drinking themselves sick, some of whom were apparently treated and released from the emergency room of University Health Services.
McDonald said she was notified of any admissions to Stillman Infirmary, and added there had been no alcohol-related admissions yet this summer