By ZAC LOSEY
This article is a continuation from an article printed in last week’s issue.
I think most of us would agree that binge drinking, especially on a regular basis, could be considered detrimental to an individual’s health. However, what I don’t agree with is that the college has the right to regulate personal health choices. The United States government allows persons over the age of 21 to consume alcohol in whatever quantities they see t, so long as that person doesn’t engage in debaucheries that can result in harm to others (public intoxication, drunk driving, etc.). What confuses me is why the college thinks it knows better than our government. Many other outstanding liberal arts colleges in our own state have taken a much more sensible approach to alcohol. Centre College and Transylvania University both allow students who are of legal age to consume alcohol, and both of these schools are doing just ne in terms of prestige. The correlation may not imply causation, but it certainly shows that not being stuck in a 1920s mindset doesn’t necessarily lead to unbridled debauchery and loss of prestige. Why then is the leadership of our own college so reluctant to nd its way out of the Dark Ages? One possible answer is our identity as a Christian institution. However, I believe this is an unfortunately stupid defense of the ridiculous alcohol policy. I’m certainly not qualied to act as an expert on theology, but as far as I’m aware abstaining from alcohol is not a central tenet to every, or even most, Christian traditions. Drunkenness is certainly frowned upon, but complete abstention is not often a requirement. The Baptists, however, are one of the faith traditions strongly opposed to the drinking of alcohol, and our previous afliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention could explain why the policy has been so strict. While this Baptist heritage remains, Georgetown College is no longer bound to the rules of the Baptist church and has attempted to forge its own unique identity as a progressive, accepting and diverse Christian college. In its identity statement, as well as explanation of “Live, Learn, Believe,” Georgetown College appears to be striving to be accepting of many faith traditions. A logical step in this direction would appear to be not forcing students to live by the ultra- conservative and strict view of alcohol that some traditions may have. Instead, they allow students to make their own decisions based upon their own faith, as the college seems to be so encouraging of in its statements.
So perhaps instead of an outright prohibition, why not simply allow students who are over the legal age of 21 to drink? Instead of conducting nightly witch-hunts for clanking bottles and the sound of bouncing ping-pong balls, simply be on the lookout for students who are clearly intoxicated, who are a danger to themselves or those around them. If a student is seen with alcohol, instead of asking for their G-card number and issuing a write-up, why not check his or her ID? This sort of change to school policy would be much more practical than the current system, where members of residence life and campus safety are scolded for not writing up enough students. Actively looking to put a fork in students’ nights and weekends doesn’t foster an attitude of trust or appreciation towards residence life or the “administration”. However, a practical, seemingly revolutionary approach to the issue could do just that. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that any actual progress towards changing the alcohol policies will be made in the near future. Students have grumbled for years; articles have been written before. I have hope that someday our college will take steps towards the rest of civilization, but for now it seems we’ll all just have to be content to enjoy alcohol poured into solo cups while we sit in the dark whispering to one another. . . off campus of course.