A week after Marc Seligson '12 was arrested on assault charges and student leaders gathered to discuss solutions for alcohol problems, a 20-year-old sophomore male student was arrested for drunk driving and the Brunswick Police Department received a $12,000 grant to increase enforcement against underage drinking.

The Brunswick Times Record reported Wednesday that Communities Against Substance Abuse (CASA) had allocated the grant money to the Brunswick Police Department (BPD).

Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols said the awarding of the grant is no coincidence.

"I think there's no question the police obtaining this grant, the bulk of the justification they used was the [recent events at Bowdoin,]" Nichols said. "You've got the assault, which is highly unusual...But that's something people remember...These are high profile events."

"The past several months, unfortunately, on campus, have shown the safety of the public is threatened," Brunswick Police Commander Marc Hagan said to the Times Record. "We need to act accordingly."

Nichols said he believed the grant was "fast-tracked because of recent events."

Last week Nichols said he thought the police had increased their campus presence over the first two weeks of the semester—now, according to Nichols, it will be stepped up further.

"The enforcement is part of it," Nichols said. "I'm hoping the grant will be used significantly for education and awareness, as well as enforcement."

Community Policing Officer Terry Goan said a large part of the funds would be used toward education.

"We're going to meet with Bowdoin staff and see what they might be interested in and what the students would be interested in," Goan said. "We want to bring the social hosts into the fold. Let them know, okay, there are people drinking in excess on campus, how can we minimize this?"

Goan said he expected the enforcement level to be similar to what it was during the fall semester.

CASA gave the Brunswick Police a similar grant in 2009, which was used for patrols around Bowdoin's campus during the fall semester, among other things.

A continuing trend

According to Nichols, a van filled with seven students and one non-student guest, a high school female from Massachusetts, was pulled over in the Farley Field House parking lot for a routine check Saturday night close to 10:45 p.m. for a broken taillight. The police smelled alcohol on the breath of the driver and carried out a field sobriety test, which the driver failed, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster said.

The police issued court summonses for underage possession of alcohol to all seven of the passengers and took the driver to the police station, where his car had been towed, Nichols said. At the station it was determined that the driver's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was at least .08 via an intoxilyzer test, indicating that he was over the legal BAC limit, even if he had been of age. The student was charged with operating under the influence (OUI).

Foster said the group had been waiting for a Bowdoin Shuttle at Stowe Inn but had given up and decided to drive.

Assuming this was the driver's first offense, he will face a minimum penalty of a $400 fine and a one-year suspension of his license if found guilty. the driver, as well as the seven passengers, have court dates in West Bath District Court in April, Nichols said.

Foster said that OUI's could be handled administratively or through the Judicial Board but would not speculate which route this case might take.

"There's never an excuse for driving under the influence at Bowdoin," Nichols said.

The student declined to comment on the arrest.

In addition to the OUI, another student was transported to the hospital early Saturday morning for alcohol-related reasons from Burnett House.

According to both Foster and Nichols, the student had been drinking in West Hall before arriving at Burnett. The residents of Burnett immediately recognized that the student was heavily intoxicated and called Security to conduct a wellness check, where it was determined the student needed to go to the hospital. The transport was this year's 19th—compared with just 17 during the '08-'09 academic year.

Foster said another transport had taken place that night, but was predominantly due to a pre-existing medical condition and therefore did not count as an alcohol-related transport.

Nichols continued to express concern about the situation on campus.

"We're about double the rate of transports that we had last year [at this time]," Nichols said. "We had a student who was intoxicated go to the hospital and assault a nurse. During the fall semester, we've had four or five fire alarms pulled maliciously by intoxicated people on campus."

Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) President Mike Dooley echoed Nichols's sentiments.

"I was disappointed in our campus on Sunday, Monday when I heard," he said.

Following up on the Seligson investigation, Nichols indicated that two students had been identified as the suppliers of the hard alcohol.

"Those furnishers will be disciplined in the College process, and it's serious discipline," Nichols said. "Why [would] anyone furnish alcohol to a minor, knowing it is a serious crime? Someone could be arrested, have it on their permanent record. Someone could die, [someone] could lose their Bowdoin education."

Campus action

Foster felt that despite the troubling trend regarding alcohol, students have already been very active in thinking of ways to help ease the problem.

Jules Valenti '10 and Special Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs Meadow Davis, co-chairs of the Alcohol Team (A-Team), concurred with Foster and already have a list of suggestions they hope to look into. Among those suggestions are extending Super Snack hours, creating a midnight shuttle to L.L. Bean in Freeport, starting a diner at the pub and having late night dancing at the pub, among others. Valenti and Davis said they intended to work with the Student Activities Funding Committee, Dining Services and BSG in hopes of implementing some of their plans.

Foster, Valenti and Davis also suggested creating a series of stories surrounding alcohol modeled off "Speak About It" so students might be able to learn from others' experiences.

Foster said he did not foresee any policy changes in the near future.

"I would say that our policy, as it relates to hard liquor...serves the College very well," Foster said. "I have no plan to revisit or change that policy."

Foster felt strongly that any changes were going to have to happen at the student level.

"Can we enforce at a much more stringent level? Yes. Do I see that happening? No," Foster added. "Bottom line, you can't legislate good behavior."

Valenti stressed one further point, addressing the student concern with police presence on campus.

"I think about the best way to get rid of BPD is to stop giving them a reason to be here," he said.