From: Tim Foster
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012 18:07
Subject: Important Message
Dear Bowdoin Students,
As many of you know, four Bowdoin students were treated for alcohol poisoning last Saturday night at a local hospital. The transports stemmed from an off-campus gathering and a College House party, both of which were associated with the Men’s Rugby Team.
In the course of investigating these parties, the College has determined that clear violations of Bowdoin’s alcohol policy took place in both venues. We have also determined that members of the Men’s Rugby Team engaged in activities that constitute hazing, which violate the Bowdoin College Social Code and the College’s Hazing Policy. Perhaps most disappointing is the obvious abandonment of sound judgment and the abdication of responsibility by leaders of the team.
As a result, the Men’s Rugby Team will forfeit this Saturday’s away contests against the University Of Maine at Orono, as well as their home contests against Colby College on September 29.
Hazing—in any form—has no place at Bowdoin College. Our well-established position on hazing states the following:
“A learning community has a distinctive set of values and qualities meant to support individual growth and development. At Bowdoin, we value traditions, rituals, and rites of passage because they remind community members of their connections to one another and to the past and future of the College; they can build important bonds between groups and individuals. Athletic team or student organization initiations or traditions, however, that attempt to build these bonds between members must do so in an affirming way without coercion of any kind. In a learning community such as ours, we value lasting relationships grounded in mutual respect, not artificial connections created through shared humiliation…”
Rugby is a sport with many positive traditions—traditions the College has and will support as long as they do not involve hazing. As difficult as it will be for members of the team to forfeit these contests, it is my sincere hope that all of us will learn from this experience and move forward.
In closing, a word about one of Bowdoin’s great strengths: ours is a community whose members look out for one another—something demonstrated again this weekend when students called Security with concerns about fellow students who had consumed too much alcohol. I hope we can commit to a healthy year ahead—one where we make smart and responsible choices and intervene even earlier when one of us is in crisis.
Dean for Student Affairs
Timothy W. Foster
Dean of Student Affairs
4600 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011
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