After being released from Parkview Adventist Medical Center early Sunday morning, Marc Seligson '12 was arrested on an assault charge by Brunswick police. Seligson allegedly struck a female nurse in the face just minutes past midnight after being transported to Parkview by Brunswick Rescue from Quinby house.

A normal assault charge is a Class D crime, a misdemeanor; however, because Seligson allegedly punched an emergency medical care provider, the charge is elevated to a Class C crime, a felony.

Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols said that shortly after Seligson hit the nurse, Brunswick Police were called, who in turn notified Bowdoin Security. Police officers and security officers, including Nichols, responded to the call and went to Parkview.

The Brunswick Times Record reported Monday that the nurse in question received cuts to the mouth, and that Seligson has been scheduled for a court appearance on April 27 in West Bath District Court.

Nichols said Seligson was released from Parkview close to 7 a.m. Sunday morning and brought to the police station where he was "booked, finger printed, photographed and processed."

Bail was set at $560, Nichols said, including the bail commissioner's fee.

A friend of Seligson's was able to pay the bail and was driven to the police station by a security officer, Nichols said, though he would not reveal the friend's identity.

"Had the bail not been posted, the student would have been transported to the Cumberland County Jail," Nichols said.

Nichols, Director of Residential Life Mary Pat McMahon and Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster all refused to comment on what either the legal or Bowdoin-related consequences would be for Seligson.

Community Policing Officer Terry Goan agreed it was difficult to know exactly what would happen to Seligson.

"Certainly if he's found to be guilty, he'd be looking at a fine," Goan said. "Would he get jail time? No idea."

Seligson could not be reached for comment, though he remains on campus.

"He feels really bad about what happened," Dylan Kane '12, a friend of Seligson's, said.

Although his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level could not be obtained by the Orient, Nichols confirmed Seligson was under heavy influence of alcohol. Nichols said Seligson was "not aware of his surroundings."

While Nichols said the night is under investigation and some details cannot be released, he did say that the incident was "totally hard alcohol related."

Quinby had registered a three-keg event that night, but "at this point in the investigation it does not appear that the registered event had anything to do with that incident," Nichols said.

Nichols said the distinction came from the fact that Seligson was drinking with a small group of people in a dorm room in Quinby.

"They were consuming a large amount of hard alcohol in a short period of time," Nichols said.

Students with Seligson placed a call to Brunswick Rescue, and Brunswick police officers responded to the call as well. The Brunswick Times Record incorrectly reported that Bowdoin security placed the call to the Brunswick Police.

After Brunswick Rescue had left Quinby, police officers requested that security shut down the party because they had encountered several underage students who had consumed alcohol, Nichols said. No enforcement action was taken.

Goan added that it is possible that the police could press charges against the supplier of the alcohol consumed by Seligson, assuming it was someone other than himself, and that Seligson could additionally be charged with underage possession of alcohol. However, Goan did not speculate whether such action would be taken.

"We're working with security," Goan said. "The College is definitely doing some serious interviews."

"The question rises, did he know what he was doing? Did he have his faculties enough to realize he struck a person?" Goan added.

With regard to the College's stance on violence, McMahon was definitive.

"My understanding of the social code is that you are responsible for your actions on and off campus, and whether or not [you] are under the influence of alcohol," she said.

Nichols indicated that Seligson's hearing with the Judicial Board (J-Board) will be held next week.

Police presence

While last semester's increase in police activity on campus has been known for some time, Nichols felt the police have stepped enforcement up yet again during the past two weeks.

Goan, however, felt differently.

"That is very, very untrue," Goan said. "We don't have the bodies to let a cop or two walk around for two or three hours."

Goan said that most of the state-allocated money for underage alcohol enforcement on college campuses was dried up, though there was still some money left for bar and store checks.

Nichols felt that the actions on campus last semester and so far this semester have caused the police to increase their awareness of Bowdoin, particularly regarding alcohol.

There have already been 18 total alcohol transports to hospitals so far this academic year, compared with just 17 for all of the 2008-09 school year.

"That is a disturbing trend," Nichols said. "This has been a very disappointing year for me, from a safety and security standpoint, and we're not having a safe year. So the police are responding accordingly, they're filling the void."

"They're feeling the need to have a greater presence on campus, which I find very disappointing," Nichols added. "It's a hard pill for me to swallow, when the police feel the need to come onto our campus and help me do my job."

Goan stressed that the police department's priority was on safety.

"We understand alcohol consumption by underage kids is going to take place," Goan said. "We don't condone it, but if it's going to be done, it needs to be done safely."

Both Goan and Nichols felt the risk factor was extremely high in dealing with alcohol.

"God forbid they get out of Quinby House and get into a car and hit somebody," Goan said. "Once the dust settles, God forbid if they kill somebody...Some attorney is going to get in front of that and name the College. Name Quinby House. The liability is so huge."

"I'm thinking a lot about this," Nichols said. "You do a lot of soul-searching. With all the success we've had around here, you're only as good as your last weekend. We've had four successful Ivies [weekends]...all it takes is one bad event to wipe out that memory for people."

"We want to stress how thankful we are that the call [about Seligson] came in," Nichols added. "What I would like students to do is intervene before it turns into an emergency."

Nichols felt part of the perception of an increase in police force probably stems from the fact that police have sent cruisers along to accompany Brunswick Rescue recently, something Nichols said did not happen before Police Chief Richard Rizzo took over a year and a half ago.

Goan felt the police force had used an incredible amount of discretion in issuing court summonses to Bowdoin students this year, and could have issued far more had they wanted to. In some cases, Goan said, students who received a summons were given the opportunity to redeem themselves by performing community service tasks such as picking up alcohol-related litter.

'A professional relationship'

Despite Nichols's disappointment with the police presence on campus, he maintained they still were working together well.

"It's a professional relationship. Dean Foster and I meet with them on a regular basis, probably every six weeks or so during the school year, just to make sure we're on an even keel," Nichols said.

Goan concurred with Nichols, saying the police force's relationship with security remains strong.

However, on one issue, Nichols and the police disagreed. Last Friday night a registered event at Brunswick X was broken up by police close to midnight. According to Goan, who was not on duty that night, the police record indicates that Bowdoin security called the police to check on the event.

Nichols vehemently denied the claim.

"We absolutely did not call BPD to Brunswick Apartments on Friday night/Saturday morning. I have the security report and recorded telephone and radio recordings to verify that," Nichols wrote in an e-mail to the Orient. "At no time during my four-and-a-half years at Bowdoin have we needed to call in BPD for routine assistance at a college party or registered event. The reason being that Security is quite capable and adept at dealing with those situations."

Goan could not be reached after his initial interview to confirm his statement. The online police log for Brunswick police did not mention the event.

A concern of the College

In response to the number of alcohol-related issues this year, Foster called together a group of what he called "student leaders" to start a conversation on the issue. Main Lounge in Moulton Union was packed Wednesday evening with College House leaders, team captains, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) representatives, Residential Life staff, J-Board and the Alcohol Committee and many others to talk about hard alcohol and its presence on the Bowdoin campus. A large number of administrative staff members were on hand as well, including Nichols, McMahon, Director of Athletics Jeff Ward, Director of Health Services Sandra Hayes and Director of Student Life and Smith Union Allen Delong.

Foster hosted the meeting, posing questions to students about hard alcohol and asking them to candidly answer with their thoughts and solutions. Various students stood up to make suggestions and comments. Among those more notable suggestions were to eliminate the ban on hard alcohol, advertise wellness checks, and to allow beer at social houses to be dispensed faster to discourage pre-gaming. A salient comment pointed to the fact that parties are too compressed and force students to drink faster.

Afterwards, Foster considered the meeting a success.

"I think that the thing that was my primary goal was to really generate dialogue and discussion," he said. Foster added that a number of students approached him to convey their appreciation for an open forum that was not made less candid for the number of staff members present.

Ten minutes after the event was over, 44 people remained in the room discussing the meeting.

"People just need to rethink what social drinking really is," Abriel Ferreira '10 said.

"It would be cool if more people knew about wellness checks, or if someone said to freshman, 'hey this is how you drink responsibility,'" Kane said. "Be that someone. That's my challenge, to be that someone. It's hard to do."

Foster reiterated that while he found the trend discouraging, Bowdoin still maintains some of the best statistics for alcohol-related transports in the NESCAC.