For many students, the gray area in Bowdoin’s alcohol policy is cause for trepidation when it comes time to register as an alcohol host (A-host) or event host for a party. This is a good thing. Signing Residential Life’s party registration form can have serious implications, and is entirely an act of generosity toward one’s peers. It’s a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and a favor that deserves respectful behavior from partygo- ers in return.
Bowdoin’s A-hosts agree to assume legal responsibility for distributing alcohol at a registered event. By and large, this system of accountability works well, and allows students to consume safely under the auspices of the College Houses. But the College’s alcohol policy is not the law, which can bring down harsh penalties on A-hosts if something goes wrong. In recent memory, no A-host has received summons from the Brunswick Police Department for furnishing alcohol to minors, but this doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, and it is incumbent upon underage partygoers to make sure it won’t.
Bowdoin’s current alcohol policy may seem paradoxical, problematic or overly indulgent, depending on who you are. It only works if we all take responsibility for our own actions, and are mindful of the risks our peers take so that we can have a good time.
The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is composed of Nora Biette-Timmons, Garrett Casey, Linda Kinstler, Sam Miller, Sam Weyrauch and Kate Witteman.