Alcohol related violations have gone down on campus over the course of this current semester, according to Ken Collamore, Director of Campus Safety for the college.
“There’s certainly ebbs and flows but they’ve dropped off a little more than they have historically,” said Collamore, “[The trend] is a very optimistic sign in the sense of safety.”
According to the Student Handbook, alcohol related violations include not only possession or consumption of alcohol by those under 21 years of age, but also the procurement of alcohol for those under 21; drinking alcohol in common spaces, nonresidential College buildings, or out of doors; playing alcohol games; and the mention of alcohol on posters or other publicity materials for private parties. In addition, drinking alcohol is prohibited in private rooms where a person under 21 is present. In those cases, everyone in the room is considered accountable and subject to disciplinary action, regardless of the source of the alcohol.
Colleges that have any students or think that they may have any students who receive financial aid from the government are required to report all crime, including incidents of drugs and alcohol, as a result of the Clery Act.
Bennington still ranks above the national average for alcohol related violations despite the recent drop. “I feel concerned and inquisitive [about that],” said Collamore, “[Campus Safety tries] to figure out why and explore it more than just trying to squash it. I mean, numbers are great, but really what’s behind the numbers is certainly what I want to get to, so we can figure out how we can best address it and deal with it responsibly.”
Ken Collamore wanted to add that he was “encouraged by the students’ decision making, sense of responsibility, and concern they have for their own safety. Ultimately, it’s the students decision – how they’re going to conduct themselves and how they’re going to act responsibly. I hope it’s just decisions they’re making as lifestyle choices and not necessarily a token economy.”