Earlier this month GW finished its yearly review of its alcohol amnesty policy, much of which was influenced by last year’s passing of Laura Treanor. With as comprehensive a review as the University said it completed, we would expect there to be a director of the University’s Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education – or at least one to have been appointed at the conclusion of such a study. But since the promotion of CADE’s former director more than a year ago, the office has operated without a formal head.
It is reprehensible that after an alcohol-related death on campus and a supposedly comprehensive review of policy, GW still has not appointed even an official interim director.
According to the University’s online directory, the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education now consists of a total of three official employees. Among these, Assistant Director Katie Bean currently holds the office’s highest position. While we do not know the specifics behind the decision to not promote the assistant director or find a suitable replacement for former director Brian Hamluk, it is impossible to believe that GW could not have filled this organizational vacancy after more than a year. Students can and should expect more from a review headed by Dean of Students Linda Donnels and University Police Chief Dolores Stafford.
CADE has made some laudable efforts this year. It has launched a program that aims to increase alcohol education, and the student side of CADE has been noted as a successful student organization.
Nonetheless, it remains irresponsible to leave such an important position unfilled. There needs to be a recognized authority on issues related to alcohol on campus. This person needs to be knowledgeable of both GW’s policies and comparative policies on other campuses around the nation. The director should also have the capability to be both proactive and reactive in dealing with alcohol and drug initiatives and trends on campus. Any full assessment of policy necessarily requires a move to hire or promote a director for CADE.
The fact that a death occurred on campus and GW has claimed to have made a comprehensive review, all while not having a full director for the office that deals with alcohol education, is appalling.
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