The idea was supported by students and staff who attended the Dec. 5 workshop, one in a series of events designed to spark conversation about ways to counter high-risk drinking on campus. Resembling the academic honor code that undergraduates sign on every paper and exam, a social honor code would hold students to a higher standard as responsible drinkers.  

“Students need to step up, rather than leaving it to the administration,” said McCosh Health Services psychologist Roberto Schiraldi in one of the workshop’s breakout sessions.

Added Mike Olin, director of student life for Wilson College: “I would like to see a translation of the successes of the honor code system to alcohol policy.”

The workshop, the fourth to be held since the ACC was created in December 2007, focused on University policies and enforcement.

“Often, people don’t know exactly what the policies are,” Wilson College Master Marguerite Browning said. “Everybody has misconceptions.”

Participants moved among groups centered on issues ranging from Public Safety patrols to pre-gaming — drinking in dorm rooms before visiting the eating clubs or attending other social events. Ultimately, students and staff agreed that the University could benefit from more Princeton-specific alcohol education and discussed forms that a social honor code might take.  

Other ideas included learning from what works and what doesn’t in eating clubs’ and sports teams’ alcohol policies, as well as creating a student-run EMT response team that would mirror some eating clubs’ “safety patrols” — members who are designated on Thursday or Saturday nights to monitor intoxicated students.  

Some students called for a change in enforcement policies, saying that fear of disciplinary action can discourage students from bringing a drunken friend to McCosh Health Center. “Public Safety would have to take a step back for this social culture to take a step forward,” said Juan Candela ’10.