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Dartmouth College tackles binge drinking

Brandon Harrington, a recent Dartmouth graduate who played hockey and belonged to a fraternity, spoke to members of the college’s squash team about high-risk drinking.
Brandon Harrington, a recent Dartmouth graduate who played hockey and belonged to a fraternity, spoke to members of the college’s squash team about high-risk drinking.Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

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HANOVER, N.H. – It is the school that inspired the movie Animal House, that classic paean to fraternity hijinks. Its students are said to have invented beer pong. Last spring, the college drew international attention for a former fraternity member’s sensational exposé on alcohol-fueled hazing that involved omelets made with regurgitated ingredients.

And yet, Dartmouth College has in the past two years become a national leader in trying to reduce binge drinking, making dozens of changes on campus, and founding a national collaborative to share ideas among dozens of campuses. Students have spurred some of the most interesting innovations, such as sending sober undergraduates to monitor parties for signs of trouble, and banning freshman from fraternity parties for the first six weeks of school.

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