The Dartmouth women’s swim team has been put on institutional probation after violating the college’s hazing policy, the school announced on Monday. The team admitted to the violations and the probation was enacted after “an extensive series of interviews conducted by the Department of Safety and Security and senior staff in the Department of Athletics and Recreation.”
The school says that the matter was not pursued as a criminal violation, that no team members were found to have been physically harmed, and that no drugs or alcohol were involved. The specific action that caused the violation was when first-year team members were told to create and present a sexualized PowerPoint presentation for their teammates during their December 2016 winter break training trip.
As part of their probation, the team will have to participate in educational and team development activities. Further, while the team will be able to train during the fall, their first 3 meets of the season have been cancelled, and they will be allowed to resume competition on December 1. Their winter training trip has also been cancelled.
“We hold our teams to high standards and our student-athletes understand their collective responsibility to the community,” says Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy. “The members of the team have acknowledged that their behavior was unacceptable and that their actions have consequences.”
Organizational Adjudication Committee (OAC) hearing panels, who imposed the probation and educational and team development requirements, are composed of two faculty members, two administrators, and three students. The athletics sanctions, which include the cancellation of meets and the winter training trip, while informed by the OAC outcome, are independent of the OAC process.
In the 2016-2017 season, which was Jamie Holder‘s first as head coach of Dartmouth, the women’s team finished in last place among 8 teams. They scored 358 points, which put them 295 points behind 7th-place Cornell. They are the second Ivy League team to have a portion of their season cancelled for conduct violations in the last year: Princeton suspended its men’s team midway through the 2016-2017 season, which included them not participating in the Ivy League Championships.