This article regards the harassment I suffered on Friday night, by PSafe officers, during the Tour de Franzia. I was at the fountain backyard and am not ashamed to say that I separated from my friends because I had to vomit. I was then approached by two PSafe officers who without consulting me judged that I needed to be hospitalized, even though I was conscious and talking to them. Even our Alcohol Edu online course teaches students that only vomiting is not enough justification to send a person to the hospital; rather, if I were unconscious or not making sense. But as I said, this was not the case (In the hospital, they tried to convince me that because I vomited there was a risk of me choking on vomit during my sleep, which doesn’t make sense since people get rid of excessive alcohol when they vomit, so I was most likely at a lower risk of vomiting again than other people in that backyard).

As I was telling the officers that I didn’t need to go to the hospital, they both took me by the arms and dragged me by force to the ambulance, also placing me on the stretcher by force. I have friends who saw me trying to wrestle out of the officers’ grip and can testify to how aggressive they were as well as that I did not need hospitalization. One of my friends who witnessed the incident came forward to argue in my defense to the officers. I was even sitting on the stretcher arguing with the officers and paramedics, but they refused to listen to me. Other boys also gathered around to protest what they were doing, and my friend told me that once I left they started physically pushing the boys away and even arrested one of the boys for “getting in their way.”

In my opinion, as well as everyone’s to whom I have talked to so far, this is completely unacceptable and abusive behavior on their part, and there is no one yet who thought that that was an agreeable thing to do. I woke up at around 7:30 in the hospital, and had been completely stripped of my belongings. I asked to leave, and they prohibited me to do so until my alcohol level dropped to 0.08, which is the driving limit, and again makes no sense as a parameter since I wasn’t going to drive home anyway. They “breathalized” me (which at least in Brazilian law where I am from, I should not be forced to do) and refused to give me my cellphone so that I could let my friends know where I was and that I was okay, because for all they knew I just suddenly disappeared and I knew they would be worried.

I told all this to a friend of mine who is a nurse intern and she said that patients are allowed to leave the hospital if they want; also, she said that nurses do give back a patient’s phone even when they ask for it immediately after surgery, and that it is wrong that they refused to give mine when I asked for it. I didn’t need glucose, an adrenaline shot, or even IV fluids, and on top of that, all the time I was awake no one even offered me a glass of water, which obviously is the first thing you give someone if you want them to sober up, and to me that is a clear indication that no one in that hospital really believed I needed help, again confirming the unfairness of my being there. They told me to go back to sleep because I would still need some time for the alcohol to leave my system. I was also on the middle of the hallway and had to complain to have my bed put in the room with the other boys present.

I woke up again at 10, and only a half hour later did a nurse come in offering a glass of ginger ale, still no water. I asked for water myself and from the third glass on I just got up and started pouring myself water, since I would clearly not have any help from them to get me out of there as soon as possible. I also had to ask for something to eat, because I just wanted my level to drop fast to get out. I got to the point of just being up and chatting to the nurse, “doing time” while binging on water and in need of no assistance whatsoever to justify my being there. In the end, this action by the PSafe officers just wasted my time and the hospital’s, as well as taking up ER space and resources which could be used with people who actually need it, and generating unnecessary costs.

I am sure everyone knows that the drinking age in my country, Brazil, is 18, which even though it doesn’t justify me going against US drinking age law, at least allows me to affirm that I have experience drinking and know that this was a very invasive overreaction of the officers. I am sure if a regular police officer saw someone vomiting they wouldn’t force them to go to the hospital. Now, I don’t know if the Wesleyan Health Insurance covers the costs of the ambulance and ER, but if they don’t, I assure you that I will raise great noise and refuse to pay for something that I was forced into while I was conscious and without my consent. It is my belief that they were doing this forcefully simply so that they can create shock at the number of hospitalized students to create a negative image of the Tour; however, there is no way anyone could convince me now that any of these statistics are at all credible, and I think no one else should either, because what they were actually doing was harassing students instead of protecting them as they should. I did not feel protected, I felt violated, and that to me is unacceptable.

  • Tum

    It’s about time someone says something. They have odd conceptions of when someone needs hospitalization, which usually ends up like this and student’s shouldering a hefty bill.

  • ’07 Alum

    Thanks for adding to the (mostly false) image of Wes students as insufferable overprivileged brats who think rules don’t apply to them. Perhaps had you not been breaking the law(s) or at least not gotten so drunk so as to draw PSafe’s attention (when you were amply warned that they would be cracking down on the Tour this year) this wouldn’t have happened to you. They didn’t arrest you, be grateful, or at least have the good sense not to write something like this in a public forum that will be part of your google-footprint going forward.

  • Soon to be ’12 Alum

    Agreed. It’s reprehensible that PSafe seems to use hospital visits not just when they are concerned about a student’s safety but also seemingly as a form of punishment. It’s because of this kind of behavior that students completely distrust Public Safety, leading to a more unhealthy and dangerous campus environment for everyone.

  • Rusia

    Judging from your class year you are probably a minor. And in the States, according to my knowledge from EMT classes, if you’re a minor, by law, you must be taken to the hospital. Please stop trying to find error in the system and drink responsibly.

    • student ’15

      She said in the article she’s 18 — or are you considered a minor all the way until 21? (Though, yes, I suppose with regards to alcohol you’re considered minor until 21…)

      • The Truth

        No, she said in the article that in her home country of Brazil the drinking age was 18. Yet in America she knows it is 21. So simple logic tells you she is probably over 18 but not quite 21 yet.

        Also class years do not tell you anything about a person’s age. There are 2012 seniors who are over 25, which peole would hardly be able to guess.

  • alum

    Next time don’t drink so much. It’s not that difficult.

  • Anon

    While I take issue with the tone of most of this piece, I do find the facts pretty fucked up and commend you for bringing this to the community’s attention. I completely agree that it’s likely they were trying to create shocking numbers and that you were obviously mistreated in the emergency room.

    I know that other schools have an unofficial sober friend policy where a sober friend can talk to the psafe officer and offer to take care of you, so that you don’t get in trouble. I know that there were at least plans for sober kids to help with overly drunk individuals at TDF and feel that your situation would have been appropriate for this type of peer intervention in lieu of taking an expensive trip to the hospital. Wes should look into a similar policy.

  • parent

    Just wait until you are parents! You will be on your hands and knees thanking Psafe for taking your underage child to the ER for what may have been alcohol poisoning.

  • ’15

    hey, you were drinking illegally, it was an event in which a lot of people got hospitalized. they were just being over-preventive. don’t drink – why is that so hard to do?

  • Student ’14

    Dear Dandara,
    While I’m sorry to hear that your treatment at Middlesex and by PSafe was less than stellar, a lot of what you said is untrue. Before you came to Wes you signed a contract giving PSafe the right to hospitalize you. (And no matter which way you look at it, despite the prevalence of drinking, it is illegal and a violation of the non-academic code of conduct if you’re under 21.)
    Vomiting is a sign of severe alcohol intoxication. Vomiting does not make you at any “lower risk”; it does not lower your blood alcohol content (BAC); it only expels the alcohol currently in your stomach that has yet to be absorbed into your blood. It sounds as if your BAC was high enough to warrant monitoring if you had to wait so long for it to fall below 0.08. (Additonally, 0.08 is used as a general rule of thumb to measure intoxication, not just for driving.) One is at risk for asphyxiation (choking on one’s vomit) if your BAC is above 0.25.
    Finally, water, while very much necessary and good for reducing your hangover, will not help you “sober up” any faster; only time will do so. Your liver processes alcohol at a rate of approximately 1 drink/hour.
    –Student ’14
    P.S. Wesleyan insurance covers a good part of ambulance and ER fees.

  • Alum ’11

    Your article and case for argument would come across a lot stronger if you didn’t keep referring to what they do in Brazil– you are in the U.S. now and the Brazilian laws aren’t the ones that matter in this country.

  • Jldpics21


    “You’ve got to fight for your right to party?”

    “What hath God wrought?”

  • 2015

    As someone who saw the author getting quite literally dragged away by several PSafe officers, I can confirm that it was a really horrifying sight. She was kicking and struggling with all her might as two officers dragged her first to a set of stairs where they then stood guard above her while an administrator (Dean Rick I think?) questioned her and then dragged her between the houses to pine street and forced her into the ambulence. While the author was undeniably intoxicated, and therefore undeniably engaged in illegal activity, I do think several of the commenters here brought rightful attention to the contentiousness of the PSafe-Student relationship and the use of hospitalization as a disciplinary measure for those who “get caught” drinking and not as the medical necessity it should be viewed as.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe the fact that she was kicking and screaming is an indication that she was more intoxicated than suggested and perhaps did need to go to the hospital. Coherent and rational people don’t kick and scream.

  • concerned

    Once in the blood, alcohol is carried throughout the body. The alcohol diffuses into tissues and fluids according to their water content. During the absorption phase, the BAC of arterial blood is greater than the BAC of venous blood. Arteries carry blood to a tissue, and veins remove blood from the tissue. At equilibrium, where the tissue has absorbed a proportionate quantity of alcohol, the BAC of arterial blood is equal to the BAC of venous blood.

    FOOD AND WATER AFTER DRINKING DOES NOT LOWER BAC. The fact that you “had to ask for something to eat, because I just wanted my level to drop fast” is extremely concerning. ONLY TIME can lower your BAC.

    Please educate yourself about responsible drinking.