Three students expelled from Baca campus for alcohol violation

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A trip to Baca was cut short for three students who violated the campus’ alcohol policy last week and are now facing possible consequences from the Student Conduct Committee.

The students in Professor Dick Hilt’s Cultural Astronomy of the Southwest class were forced to leave the campus when a “pony” keg was discovered in their room. Maintenance workers discovered the keg when going through their rooms.

Because of the size of Hilt’s class, the students in question, all senior males, stayed together in the “Lodge” rather than in the Baca townhouses with their classmates.

Baca is a dry campus and all students sign forms before going that state that they recognize the policy and will abide by it. The immediate consequence of violating that mandate is expulsion from Baca. The three students had driven a personal car to the campus and were able to take it back.

The three are all over the age of 21 and can legally drink.

Within the next few weeks, the Student Conduct Committee will hold a hearing to decide what their punishment will be. Possible penalties range from conversations with college officials and warnings, to suspension and expulsion.

Hilt said that he has had two of the students in previous classes before, and that all three are, “nice guys…all of them can hold their alcohol.” He says that he understands, as all professors and administrators—and the general population—do, that college students, including those at CC, drink.

While the current Baca drinking policies are easier for professors to enforce and understand because they are straightforward, uniform, and lacking in wiggle room, Hilt believes a “more nuanced response might be appropriate.”

Despite rumors to the contrary, the students are still enrolled in Hilt’s course.

While the Student Conduct Committee’s recommendation may change that, they have not been expelled from the class by their professor.

Student alcohol use at Baca is not uncommon.  Many will go into nearby Crestone, while others are overage, have cars, or a combination of both, and can more easily procure alcohol.

Although less common, it is not unheard of for students and professors to, for example, go to Crestone’s recently renamed and re-imagined Laughing Buddha bar together.

Hilt notes that, especially at CC, professors are sometimes invited to students’ parties.

Ansel Carpenter

Guest Writer

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