I applaud efforts to encourage consensuality of relationships. Reality check: People get drunk. People have sex. This is largely why parties happen. Frequently, on the morning after, there are revisions/gap-filling to the story. Drunk people cannot legally provide informed consent; one of the intended consequences of imbibing alcohol is to absolve one of one’s reasoning capabilities. Therefore this idea of signing first, then partying (Student Dispatch, Nov. 9) — although well-intended and possibly a stagger in the right direction — cannot solve the problem.
Undergraduates are over 18 and by many moral and legal standards are considered adults. As such, universities (including Princeton) as part of the educational process should inform freshmen (and freshwomen) when they arrive that they are considered adults and that they will need to sort these things out in an adult fashion among/between themselves.
Universities should provide counseling services to assist students in honing the skill, but should never feel accountable for the adult students’ intimate actions, sober or drunk. If nonconsensual sexual contact has allegedly occurred, then law-enforcement authorities need to be brought in to adjudicate the case. The University can provide counseling and safe (alcohol-free) social gathering spaces but otherwise remove itself from responsibility in dealing with private behavior between adults.
College students need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions as adults, allowing the University to go back to providing a top-notch academic education. As a side effect, smart young grown-ups might just find relationships are a lot more interesting and fulfilling when their intellects are intact.