College Drinking

Here’s an essay by Middlebury’s College last president about the things he would have liked to say as president, What Your College President Didn’t Tell You.

One point that struck home to me was the drinking age. Having a drinking age of 21 does not make any sense and it does not solve any problems. By 18 you can drive, marry, have children, serve in the armed forces, and basically lead a completely independent life, except you can’t have a beer. So by the age of 21 (assuming you don’t drink before then), who’s going to teach you responsible drinking? And Federal government, by holding highway money hostage if the states don’t keep a drinking age of 21, is just reducing the democratic rights of its citizens. When’s the last time you got to vote on, or even got asked by your representatives, what you thought of the drinking age?

Last week a young sophomore at Colorado State University, CSU, died of alcohol poisoning. Samatha Spady was a smart, pretty and popular young woman with a life ahead of her. In high school she was head varsity cheerleader, homecoming queen, National Honor Society scholar and class president. Because of one night of drinking in a college atmosphere where the party scene revolves around alcohol, all that is over. Student’s death at CSU rocks hometown

College drinking is a problem. Whether or not you believe that the drinking age exacerbates the problem, the fact that it is illegal for most college kids to drink makes it that much harder for parents, professors and other professionals to have meaningful talks with their kids.

One Reply to “College Drinking”

  1. Ahh, but you see? It wasn’t “one night” of drinking that killed Samatha Spady. It was a long history of not only drinking, but driving drunk, and posting pictures of herself drunk on the Internet.
    Her family admits to seeing the website where she posted all this stuff (I was searching for the URL when I found your site), but denied seeing pictures of her drunk, which had been posted on that same web site.
    So, as a person who used to get drunk every single day, I can tell you, underaged drinking IS a problem, and even at 21, many people are not responsible enough to make those kinds of decisions. The logic behind a drinking age of 21 is that by then, you have a job, which one would hope you would value enough to show up and not get too drunk to at least call in sick.

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