All resident halls at Rice have been put on probation immediately because of alcohol abuse, pretty stern stuff for a campus that is normally somewhat laissez-faire about drinking.
We wrote last year about how Four Loko madness had increased the number of alcohol-related EMS calls to the campus. Apparently things haven't improved.
In the weeks leading to a recent meeting to address the subject, the administration said in an e-mail to students, "We had multiple very serious threats to students' health within the week period leading up to the meeting. That placed a sense of immediacy on the problem."
One official told the Rice Thresher things have gotten out of hand.
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"In addition to the number, it's the severity of it -- in the last two weekends, there have been a significant number of ambulances on campus all at once," [the administrator] said. "To have five ambulances on one college campus is a drain on resources for the rest of the city.
Rice being Rice, the crackdown is not exactly something out of Brigham Young University. "Alcohol" does not include beer, wine or ale, and the individual colleges that make up Rice will set their own policies.
John Hutchinson, the dean of undergraduates, told the Thresher, "The most effective responses are those which are student-initiated and student-created. That's why these solutions are not in the letter -- they're still being created."
The vague probation has no end date at the moment; there will be lots of meetings to talk things out and come to conclusions and reach a consensus and yadda yadda.