I had to respond John Andrew Willis’ column in Friday’s Skiff about how a lower age requirement for drinking would ensure safety. This is the most ridiculous twist of information I have ever seen. The premise of his article was that if people 20 and younger could legally drink in public then they would drink “more safely” because others could monitor them more readily.
This is faulty at so many angles. For one thing, underage individuals already drink in public. Where do you think people who stumble into dorms like Colby early on Friday mornings come from? Clearly they didn’t come from the privacy of their own room. If that were the case they wouldn’t have those black Xs on their hands. The privacy of their room, or their bathroom, is where they recover from the alcohol activities that they took part in publicly.
Willis wrote, “If it were legal for college students to drink in bars, restaurants and on campus, they would be more likely to do so safely.” The truth is that young people drink in excess because they want to. Making it legal encourages it. How many sober people do you see leaving a bar? Not too many. Very few students in college drink just to have a hint of alcohol complement their meals. If someone wanted just a little drink, his or her room seems more conducive than a bar where people encourage others to drink more.
The story of the fraternity pledge dying from alcohol poisoning and his “brothers” not helping him because they were afraid of the consequences also has no merit. If the University of Colorado had tighter regulations on alcohol in Greek housing, the situation could have been avoided. Had Gordie Bailey’s mother instilled more sense in her son before he left for college, he probably would have handled the situation better. Had the fraternity brothers been sober, maybe they would have recognized that they would get in more trouble for a pledge’s death during a fraternity ritual than for providing alcohol to minors.
It is very clear that some students just like to exercise their stupid side by getting drunk. Lowering the minimum legal drinking age would give them one more reason to do so.
I hope that Chancellor Victor Boschini has enough sense to know that this is one curve the university should stay behind.
Michaela Bradshaw is a sophomore communications major from DeSoto.