Current Alcohol Matrix Does Nothing To Change Behavior
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 01:03
I am a 22-year-old junior. I don’t drink, I have never been disciplined for misbehavior while at BC, and I completely support the current measure to change the alcohol matrix to a point system.
The current method for dealing with student misconduct does not serve as a corrective tool for modifying behavior. Its inflexibility makes the disciplinary process less nuanced than often needed and the lingering nature of its consequences far outlasts any utility served by them. For example, a close friend of mine was found drunk in the bathroom by her RAs freshman year. Because of this, she was taken to the hospital and put on disciplinary probation. She has not drank (at school) since.
This year, during a fire drill, her RAs did a random room sweep. In her room they found a homemade picture frame made of bottle caps; some of them from beer bottles. Her RD considered this “alcohol paraphernalia” and she is now on housing probation, forever. Examples such as these beg the question, “what is the purpose of the current alcohol matrix?”
If good behavior is not rewarded and prior decisions continue to exact consequences despite having made constructive changes, then the system fails at its goal of promoting healthy student formation. If having a decorative item suggestive of alcohol is dealt with on the same level as actually imbibing it, then the system is totally flawed.
A move to a points system—together with measures for students to gain back points upon demonstrated good behavior—provides an incentive for students to make new choices rather than simply not getting caught for making bad ones again.