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The new clarification of official drinking policy and warnings from College administrators announced last week appear to have had a nebulous effect on undergraduate life.
Student opinions on the effects of the drinking-policy revision--inspired by a recent spate of drinking-related deaths nationwide--varied from indifference to vehement objection.
"If they think that they can stop underage drinking, they're kidding themselves," said one final-club member, who asked to remain anonymous.
Some students feel that students are more hesitant to visit University Health Services for drinking-related maladies because they fear disciplinary reprisal. Students said they fear being made an example for other drinkers.
Last week Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III co-authored an announcement that underage drinkers apprehended by Cambridge and Harvard police will be reported to the College by Cambridge police and may be subject to disciplinary action.
"I think that people should take care of each other," said Kirkland House Senior Tutor Margaret Bruzelius '74. "If someone passes out, you intervene. You don't just leave them there."
"We want our students to think about what they're doing and not damage themselves or each other," Bruzelius added.
Students expressed doubt about the practical effect of the underage drinking prohibitions.
"Those people who do drink underage are already doing so illegally. Another college sanction is not going to make a difference," said one undergraduate woman who asked not to be named.
"The University has another agenda," the final-club member said. "They don't like final clubs and they never have. They're using this as a way to get at the clubs with the hope they might be able to shut one down."
Individuals and clubs have reportedly taken extra precautions to avoid drawing the attention of the Harvard police and the administration. For example, over the weekend, the Owl, a final club, issued alcohol-eligibility wrist bands to guests who produced identification showing they were of legal drinking age.
The HUPD police log for last weekend reflected the subdued mood on campus. Police dispersed party-goers on only one occasion, and no alcohol-related arrests occurred.
"Not getting paged on a weekend is rare," said Peggy A. McNamara, spokesperson for the HUPD. "I assume it was a quiet weekend."
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