Skidmore College enforces its drugs and other substances policy for 4/20: Rochelle Calhoun tells student body there will be no tolerance for students with illegal substances

Posted by Bradley Morris

This past week, Dean of Student Affairs Rochelle Calhoun reminded students that the codes and policies regarding the use of drugs and other substances would still hold firm as part of the traditional enforcement of the College policy on 4/20, which resulted in part from a media incident in April 2009.

Three years ago, multiple sightings of students publicly getting high off of marijuana on various parts of campus, some in tents, as part of April 20 attracted much negative media attention from The Saratogian.

April 20 is unofficially known as the day of public consumption of cannabis, a tradition dating back to the 1970s. The attention the College received from the press in 2009 helped rank Skidmore College No. 2 on the Princeton Review's "Reefer Madness" list.

"I remember hearing about reporters being there and people making a big deal about this," said a senior who requested to remain anonymous. "I read the Saratogian article on the website and saw people making comments about all the Skidmore students. People were being so judgmental. Skidmore is a highly ranked school; it has a lot of smart kids. I think it was unfair to judge the campus for one thing."

As a result, the College sends annual reminder emails to students about the consequences of previous actions on 4/20 and their role in the community.

"They have to send out emails. I understand that. Know the consequences for what you do," the senior said.

"It's important to note that 4/20 is not only a day for the consumption of marijuana, it is also meant to advocate its legalization and bring about change in terms of societal views on marijuana," said a junior, who also requested to remain anonymous. "People are starting to look at facts and numbers, and one can only hope that the facts speak louder than people's preconceived and mistaken ideas."

At the end of Rochelle Calhoun's email to the student body, she offered the hope that students would take responsible action on 4/20.

"I'm proud to be a member of the Skidmore College community and I know that so many of you are as well," Calhoun said. "Let our actions on 4/20 - and always - be a demonstration of our pride and respect for this wonderful place."

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