Nowadays, when a child drinks himself into the emergency room or grave, the first thing many parents do is call their lawyer. In March of this year, the parents of a student at College of New Jersey sued after their son died from drinking too much. The same thing happened at Rider University in 2007 and at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2004.
In September of 2000, M.I.T. settled with the parents of freshman Scott Krueger for a whopping $4.75 million when he drank himself to death at a frat house in 1997. They also got an apology from the president of MIT who expressed sadness for "failing" Scott and his family. In truth, Scott failed all of them by not valuing himself and his education more. These lawsuits present a good argument for reducing the drinking age, but supportive college presidents should be straightforward about their motives.
In all this talk of lawyers, education, and lawsuits, the message becomes crystal clear: while most college students may not be old enough to crack a brew, they still can think for themselves and choose rationally. Colleges, recognizing that they can never truly police it all, should fight for liability reform and to be exempted from frivolous lawsuits over which they had little cause. After all, no one makes you drink. Given that the cost of tuition has so outpaced the value of what many students learn, Pomona should create disincentives for drinking. Pomona should increase tuition for students caught drinking underage. At the very least, those students who drink to excess should be the last ones to get their aid packages evaluated, with priority going toward students who have followed the rules.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Maybe Kevin Burke was onto something with his op-ed in The Forum this past week about status and drinking. And maybe the reason Claremont students drink so much is that there's so much fraternizing with the sexes. In a way, perhaps CMC's not male dominated culture leads to more drinking.
Or I could just be wrong. Anyways, check out this study.
From Yahoo News:
A new study finds university students in coed housing are 2.5 times more
likely to binge drink every week. And no surprise, they're also likely to have
more sexual partners, the study found. Also, pornography use was higher among
students in coed dorms.
Some 90 percent of U.S. college dorms are now coed.
More than 500 students from five college campuses around the country
participated in the study. Among the results:
42 percent of students in coed housing reported binge drinking on a weekly basis.
18 percent of students in gender-specific housing reported binge drinking weekly.