On April 6 at the Customs Retreat, Dean of First-Year Students Michael Martinez announced that if Upper Class Advisors (UCA) provide alcohol to their freshmen, they will be stripped of their roles and removed from their freshmen halls.
While many students have objected to this as a change in policy, Dean Martinez said that is not the case.
“It has always been expected that UCAs not supply alcohol to first-year students,” said Martinez. “Doing so is clearly an illegal act, and UCAs do not owe it to anyone to personally assume such risk over situations they cannot control.”
He also stated that consequences for prodiving alcohol that “jeopardize a student’s Customs position are also nothing new,” and there is no change in how those violations are regulated.
Rather, according to Dean Martinez, “students will continue to be trusted to act in accordance with the responsibilities and expectations of their Customs roles and with the Honor Code.”
Dean Martinez also said that violations to the policy will each be considered “independently and relative to its individual circumstances.” His intention in bringing up the matter was to “eliminate any ambiguity about this expectation next year.”
Students are divided over how this policy was presented, and its significance for Customs, the Honor Code, and the alcohol policy in general. Future UCA Ryan Gilliom, class of 2015, shared her opinion on the matter.
“It is completely within reason to prohibit UCAs from providing alcohol to first-years,” said Gilliom. “[The issue] is in the decision-making process behind the policy and the implications for the rest of the team.”
“The starkly punitive aspect of the new policy is also concerning to me,” Gilliom said, “both for what it is now and for what it could serve as precedence for in the future.”
Senior Jonathan Allen, a member of the UCA Committee and a UCA for the last two years, agrees with this policy. UCAs providing alcohol to freshmen, Allen said, is “a terrible idea.”
“[The policy] adds a helpful barrier of protection for the UCAs who wish to abstain from providing,” Allen said.
However, he feels that the consequence of removing a UCA from his or her hall is “a little extreme for Haverford.”
Allen is worried about what would happen to a Customs team if a UCA were to be removed, and believes it could be beneficial for Dean Martinez to discuss different possible consequences with this year’s UCAs and next year’s UCAs.
“My concern is that if some of the more common routes for obtaining alcohol are cut off, it could encourage more unsafe drinking, such as that which happens at other colleges with more strict alcohol policies,” Allen said.