By: Kathleen Joyce
Most college students have consumed alcohol before the age of 21, which is the legal age to order and/or purchase alcohol in the United States. However, adolescents under the age of 21 have sought to object to this law since it began in 1984. Today, students and administrators have even formed a group to challenge itfurther.
In 2008, 135 college presidents joined together to create the Amethyst Initiative to discuss the U.S. drinking laws. Institutions such as Syracuse University, Duke University, Dartmouth College and SUNY College at Purchase are taking part in the cause. The signers of the initiative agree that the legal drinking age is not working. Some say it may even be the reason binge drinking has spread across campuses and has become a part of collegiate culture. Binge drinking is when a person drinks a heavy amount of alcohol with the intention of becoming intoxicated. Unfortunately, in the long run binge drinking can cause multiple health problems for a person.
The initiative also states that alcohol education isn’t working either. Telling students to stay away from alcohol until they are 21 will only tempt them to want to drink before turning the legal age. The initiative calls upon the government to introduce new ways to encourage a person to make smart decisions when drinking alcohol.
Over the years college students have protested the law and have sought to lower the legal age. One of the standard questions in the debate has been: “If an 18 year old can carry a gun and drive a car, why aren’t they considered responsible enough to have a drink?”
Students throughout the country have called on their college presidents and even federal officials to re-think the drinking age. They feel as if we, as mature young adults, can promise not to abuse our drinking privileges. Try lowering the age and if we mess up, then triple the fine. We will learn our lesson.
Lowering the drinking age will make us feel like the adults we really are. If we can promise to be responsible and make smart decisions while consuming alcohol, then lowering the drinking age shouldn’t be a problem.
To be among the first to take a stand in a controversial issue takes courage.
Perhaps it is time for the President of Long Island University to prove that has the courage to represent his students.
By: Kathleen Joyce