In the last couple of weeks the Daily has featured opinion columns by Darren Franich complaining about the presence of public safety at campus parties and public safety’s attempt to enforce compliance with federal and state drinking laws.
Before blaming a draconian administration for such heavy handed measures, students should be aware about the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
In order to be eligible for federal funding a school “must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees” (Drug-Free Schools and Campuses, Vol. 55, No. 159, Part II, 55 FR 33580, Thursday, August 16, 1990). In other words Stanford is required by federal law to document (“certify”) that it is has and is enforcing a program (“adopted and implemented a program”) which prevents students from under-aged drinking or use of illicit drugs.
This is not a passive certification program. In response to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the Department of Education issued the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations or DFSCR (34 CFR Part 86) requires that Stanford certify that it has implemented a program “to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees…both on the institutions premises and as part of any of its activities….”
The federal government has been increasingly implementing zero-tolerance laws. One could argue that these laws are reflections of our society. Increasingly we are turning to law enforcement to regulate behavior. We are a society which arrests kindergarteners and cannot distinguish between a jar of peanut butter and explosive liquid. We are a society which puts up with taking off our shoes when going to the airport and allows our government to suspend habeas corpus in Guantanamo Bay.
We should be concerned about more than the hassle of hiding underage drinking.