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The GW Hatchet

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SJS charges students for CI drinking

Two incoming freshmen were found to have engaged in separate cases of underage drinking at Colonial Inauguration this summer and at least one was spared expulsion by GW.

The two females, who were treated by EMeRG, were brought before Student Judicial Services and judged separately. One student, an 18-year-old female, was placed on strict disciplinary probation after being found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct, but did not have her admission to GW rescinded, she said.

“If a student violates the Code of Student Conduct or other University rules and regulations at CI, the rescinding of his or her admission to the University is a very real possibility and has needed to be done on occasion in the past,” wrote SJS Director Tara W. Pere?ra in an e-mail.

Once a student’s tuition deposit is sent to GW, that individual is considered a student and is subject to the University’s rules and regulations, Pere?ra said.

An incoming female freshman, one of the CI participants found in violation of University policies, did have her admission rescinded and fought hard to get her admission back.

“I had to fight,” she said. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be going to GW.”

The freshman is being granted anonymity because of fear the administration could retaliate for going to the media.

Pere?ra said rescinding a student’s admission and then reinstating it is “extremely rare” and that major student code infractions during CI, such as underage drinking, are very unusual.

When this student starts classes at GW, she will be on disciplinary probation for as long as she attends the University, the student said.

“I am under the ‘two strikes against you’ policy, so . any slip of academic or non-academic (means) will lead to expulsion,” she said. “Basically it wasn’t worth (anything).”

Disciplinary probation can also lead to exclusion from student organization activities, Pere?ra said.

This female freshman’s punishment is a common penalty for underage drinking at GW, but students at CI could face much stricter punishments, the SJS director said in previous Hatchet reports.

Due to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and University policy, staff declined comment. The second incoming freshman’s current disciplinary status therefore remains unknown.

All freshmen attending CI must sign a statement that binds them to the Student Code of Conduct when they are on campus. There are also many alcohol-related discussions arranged for freshman at CI.

Elliot Gillerman, a senior who was a 2006 Colonial Cabinet member, said drinking at CI does happen, but that Cabinet is not really focused on regulating it.

“It was frustrating when (drinking) did happen, but I don’t think the majority of people did it,” Gillerman said.

Cabinet members are told that if they see someone drinking, to find an administrator or UPD officer and ask them to take care of the situation, Gillerman said.

“It really was not our responsibility to deal with it,” Gillerman said. “We were supposed to refer it (to others who were responsible for dealing with drinking.)”

Gillerman said risking four years at GW in two and a half days at CI is foolish, and that he believes the administration does not want students who are willing to take that risk by making bad decisions.

“The administration sees that if there are kids drinking at orientation, and dumb enough to get caught, then those are not the kids you want to keep at your school,” Gillerman said.n

-Andrew Ramonas contributed to this report.

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