The $12,000 grant awarded to the Brunswick Police Department already appears to be having an effect. Early Sunday morning, Akiva Zamcheck '11 received a court summons for underage possession of alcohol by consumption while walking home alone on Page Street.
Zamcheck said he was disturbed by the encounter.
"I'd say it's clear the Brunswick police are not only willing but eager to detain students [for intoxication] at the slightest opportunity, regardless of the situation," he said.
The College House system also reacted to the supposed increase in police presence with a drop in its requests for alcohol. In particular, parties hosted at both Ladd and Quinby Houses last weekend did not serve alcoholic beverages.
"We discussed it with the house," said Ladd Vice President Barry Clarke '12. "And we decided just not to risk it."
Ladd had originally planned on serving alcohol at the party, but in light of the increase in alcohol transports and the grant given to the police, the house held the party without any kegs.
The house made the decision before it began its search for an alcohol host (A-host), but Clarke speculated that getting an A-host for the party would have been difficult.
Quinby Vice-President Woody Mawhinney '12 thought that A-hosts, as well as event-hosts, were feeling more pressure lately because they are liable for the students they serve.
Clarke said he still considered the party to be a success.
"I'm not going to say the lack of alcohol made it better, but I'm also not going to say it made it worse," Clarke said.
Helmreich resident Laura Kerry '12 thought there was going to be some hesitation by many of the College Houses to throw parties in the coming weeks.
"There's definitely this feeling of greater liability considering how things have been going," Kerry said.
Some students felt a lack of organized parties was only making the situation worse.
"There haven't been that many College House parties this semester," Jason Guzman '11 said. "I think they help because it is definitely a controlled environment. If there are no parties I assume people are more likely to get hammered."
Burnett President Benjamin Berg '12 felt similarly.
"If College House parties stop, that will majorly restructure the Bowdoin social scene," Berg said. "Especially for freshman and sophomores."
Students were divided on the effect Brunswick police has on campus. Guzman, who was abroad in the fall, said he has immediately felt a large increase in the amount of police presence on campus in comparison with his first and sophomore years. Guzman also felt the situation was probably being overstated.
"I kind of think that the Brunswick community has been a bit spoiled because Bowdoin has been so responsible in the past," Guzman said.
Some students felt the grant given to Brunswick police last week from Communities Against Substance Abuse was counterproductive.
"I think the Brunswick police enforcement grant is probably a bad thing," Sam Frizell '12 said. "[It] basically makes kids drink before they go to a social house, which is what the problem is."
"I think that generally Bowdoin Security is best equipped to handle alcohol problems," Frizell added. "I think they know the drinking scene and Bowdoin a lot better than the Brunswick PD do."
Johnny Coster '12 disagreed.
"I support the $12,000 they were given," Coster said. "My view is that the majority of this problem is Bowdoin students' faults."
On Thursday night, three officers from the police department hosted a conversation with members of the College Houses at Quinby House. Seven of the houses were represented at the meeting, Ladd was the only house without a member present.
Lieutenant Tom Garrepy said the police department's priority was safety.
"Let's get back to the social drinking, instead of the power drinking," he said. "What I want is the word to get out...[there are] a lot of misconceptions about this grant."
Quinby proctor Brooks Winner '10 was encouraged by the discussion.
"It was refreshing to hear that they're not out to get us, they're not looking in our windows," Winner said. "Based on what they said tonight, their role is not that different from Bowdoin Security's."
Quinby President Margot Miller '10 organized the gathering after conversations with Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, as well as with other College House members who simply wanted to a forum to ask some questions of the police.
"It's nice to see that people are sticking around to build relationships with the officers," Miller said. "I'm glad house residents had the opportunity to gain clarity on the legal liability and the officers' expectations."
Coster said the problem did not lay strictly with the first year class. He also stressed that given the small sample size, it was difficult to make generalizations from the numbers available.
Berg felt that the alcohol issue lay with small pockets of friends.
"It's tight little friend groups, they rip shots and go out and I don't know how to get into that and talk to them," Berg said. "It's dangerous because people can't look out for each other when they're all drunk."
Students also remained divided on whether those of age would be less likely to provide alcohol for younger students given the apparent increased enforcement.
"There might be a decrease, a very small decrease," Guzman said. Guzman theorized that because underclassmen typically acquire alcohol from older friends or teammates, those of-age students would still be comfortable buying alcohol because they are familiar with the younger students drinking it.
Clarke, on the other hand, thought the amount of furnishing might go down.
"I would suspect that it would decrease," he said. "I'm only going on the fact that it was so difficult to get an A-host, and if you juxtapose them, the two scenarios are similar."
-Toph Tucker contributed to this report.