Will Dartmouth's hard alcohol ban make students safer?

HANOVER, N.H. -- Dartmouth College made news this week when the school's president announced a campus ban on hard liquor. The move is part of an effort to prevent sexual assaults. But some Dartmouth students doubt the measure will make much of a difference.

The ban starts March 30 and impacts all students, even if they are of legal drinking age. Sophomore Kevin Zhang said it will be tough to enforce.

"I think it will be very difficult just because we have a wide, spread-out campus, especially residentially," Zhang said.

Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon said the ban was in reaction to excessive drinking and the dangerous behavior that sometimes follows. Hanlon told students and staff Thursday that "it is hard alcohol -- rather than beer or wine -- that lands students on a hospital gurney."

At least nine schools nationwide have similar bans in place, but in several cases there has been little to no change when it comes to alcohol-related hospitalizations.

At Colby College, where a ban took effect in 2010, the latest annual health report shows there were 50 alcohol-related emergency room visits during the 2013-14 school year.

And Bates College has had a ban since 2001, yet 44 students were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in 2010.

Dartmouth students realize the ban may not eliminate hard alcohol altogether.

"There's definitely a bit of a gap between what the administration can do and what the students themselves need to do," said sophomore Veronique Davis.

As part of the school's enforcement plan, which seeks to hold Greek organizations more accountable, Dartmouth officials say they will require third-party security and bartenders for social events.