Problem: There have been fourteen alcoholic-related visits to the emergency room this past semester. The annual average is usually eight. The Dean of Students is understandably upset and has made it difficult for Associated Students of Claremont McKenna (ASCMC) to register parties with the school for a few weeks. This situation is complicated because many of the students who have been hospitalized are rumored to have come from other schools.
Now that there is no official T.N.C., which means college students being college students that the market for booze will go underground, which leads, unfortunately, to more incidents. This market need will undoubtedly be filled by hard-alcohol, which ASCMC is forbidden from buying due to policy, leading to still more accidents.
Solution: When we go to snack, the school keeps track of the students who attend. Presumably this record keeping accounts for student demand. If more students like pizza bagels than hot dogs, then the school will buy more pizza bagels and fewer hotdogs.
Now let’s apply that card-carrying policy to drinking. Under a card system, every time a student comes up to get a beer they will swipe their card at the counter. This system will monitor alcoholic intake per student. The drawback is that it will lead to long lines for booze, which may encourages some to stay home and drink more hard alcohol. The way to fight this disincentive is to have faster card swiping by having multiple kegs.
If a student gets lots of booze, the school can ask him to check his habits. This process is very analogous to the current policy of free paper. When a student begins to abuse, his use is monitored and ultimately, if behavior doesn’t change, restricted. True, a student may circumvent this process by having their friends come up and get booze for them, but good friends will police their alcoholic buddies.
The school will not allow us to pay per drink for the alcohol we consume. As a sizeable chunk of the school is underage, the notion of card swiping and the paper trail it produces may lead to lawsuits from advantageous parents. If anyone has a solution to this problem, please let me know.
Another added benefit is the following: many students do not drink for a whole host of reasons. Why should they pay, in their lump sum through tuition, for their friends’ drinking? A card swiping system would allow a refund to students who don’t drink.