Colleges Just Don't Understand Harm Reduction

Russell Hausfeld, writing for Psymposia:

In the midst of the the February 2018 [Palm Court Party], a friend approached Hannah Procell — a club leader of the school’s Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter — and alerted her:

“Hey, I think the cops just locked up the room.”

The room in question was an under-the-radar “chill-out” room, operating out of New College’s Prayer and Meditation room. Here, students could have a safe, meditative space if they were having too intense of an experience at the party. And, SSDP volunteers provide people with water and call medical help if needed. [...]

Just the year before, a large chill-out room was set up near the Prayer and Meditation room, without any issue from the school. The school paper reported in a recap of that party that “the chill out rooms were also an important feature of [the party]. One in the X lounge called the heart room was centered around a large heart structure and adorned with red lights and snacks.”

Procell believes that the crack-down on harm-reduction efforts this year was a response to a case at Florida State University, where students from a fraternity were charged with involuntary manslaughter because of a drug-related hazing incident. She says that school administrations view harm-reduction services as a liability rather than an asset.

It's a shame that universities are jumping on the anti-harm reduction bandwagon. A college should place the safety of its students at the top of their priority list.