By Emily James and Jennifer Johnson
Despite much talk of drastic change, Beloit College’s marijuana policy will remain the same this school year.
“What we’re doing is changing our approach to the policy, not the policy itself,” Associate Dean of Students John Winkelmann said.
According to Winkelmann, proper disciplinary action was not taken when students were
found using marijuana. The policy states that, “Involvement in the illegal possession, use,
or sharing of any illicit drug, including cannabis (marijuana, hashish)…is an oﬀense that is
subject to disciplinary penalties ranging from warning/counseling to suspension or expulsion.”
In the past, Winkelmann found that students were issued multiple warnings rather than taking more aﬃrmative and decisive steps.
“This time we’re going to follow what’s written a little more closely in an eﬀort to make changes,” he said. However, the initial course of action taken will not be altered in the near future.
“Our normal approach is if you get caught the ﬁrst time we’re going to have a conversation,” Winkelmann said.
However, student reactions to the tightening of long-accepted rules have been mixed.
“I feel that yes, they’re being a lot more strict on the drug policy this year because they’re focusing on the image of the school. The aspect that I don’t think is fair is that you go from such a small reprimand to such a large punishment,” Jennifer Gilbertson’12 said.
Aleks Pavlovic’15 said, “I think that instead of there being a marijuana policy there should be a marijuana philosophy, much like the drinking policy. I think that instead of trying to stop [marijuana use] they should be trying to control it, because it’s not going to stop.”
Administrators found that in recent years the number of students caught smoking marijuana went up signiﬁcantly on Beloit College campus.