Several others said that the policy—along with the prospect of further meetings with deans and parents—may be a deterrent in deciding whether to seek help. “There’s a thought of, ‘Why bring them to UHS if I can take care of them better myself?’ That way they have no disciplinary issues to deal with,” said Adam O. Brodheim ’16.
Juan E. Bedoya ’16 said that he has taken care of several friends who were inebriated, but chose not to take them to University Health Services because of the potential awkwardness of talking to an administrator after an incident relating to alcohol.
Another freshman, who was granted anonymity by The Crimson to protect her roommate’s privacy, said she has been hesitant to use UHS after her roommate’s second trip to Stillman Infirmary. “The Dean in our Yard gave her the ultimatum that if she had to go one more time there would be serious repercussions,” she said. “So even though she has abused alcohol in a scary and dangerous way since then, my friends and I don’t want to take her to UHS because we don’t want to be the reason she gets asked to leave.”And they do have a point, in their blockheaded way. The university's claim to "encourage students to place health and safety above all else" is ambiguous. Is prioritizing health and safety a matter of prevention, or of emergency treatment? Some might say that one way to place health and safety above all else is to assume that personal responsibility is possible, and to punish unhealthy and unsafe behavior like drug use and binge drinking accordingly. But Harvard disagrees, presumably because it believes that unhealthy and unsafe behavior is so widespread and unavoidable that the only option is to intervene in emergencies to prevent fatalities arising from irresponsibility, since death is the most unhealthy outcome of all. Perhaps a commitment to emergency intervention is at odds with emergency prevention? In the meantime, those who prefer the homeopathic remedies of college freshmen for their alcohol poisoning are encouraged to befriend the individuals interviewed for this article.