Meeting in the Middle

This letter is in response to a recent article in the Maroon-News, “Colgate’s Alcohol Tolerance.” As a student who does enjoy a good party every now and then, as well as a student who has been personally affected by this semester’s alcohol insanity, I was thrilled to see the beginning of a conversation about a real problem on campus. However, Mr. Hazzard’s article disappointed me.

Alcohol consumption is a fact of college life; alcohol poisoning is not. When RAs bust a party, it’s undoubtedly lame, but when an ambulance takes your unconscious friend to the hospital, it’s a tragedy.

We, as students, as community members and as friends, cannot blame ResLife for our irresponsibility. No matter how tempting it is to blame the “grown-ups,” we cannot watch our friends carried out on stretchers and deny that, if we had been more careful, if we had paid closer attention, we could have made things different. Many of my friends are RAs, and between their classes, extracurriculars and own social lives, none of them have had the chance to take “Lurking 101.” Their job is to keep us safe and their duty is to protect us before the ambulance comes around. Their goal, despite what some may believe, is not to be lame “boogie-men.”

There is no evidence that the Tolerance Policy that has been suggested decreases alcohol consumption, only that it decreases citations for it.

Well, duh. Demanding that ResLife just disregard state law and let us do whatever we want isn’t helping the real problem we as a community are facing. I don’t drink because it’s “cool” or “rebellious,” and I don’t know even any first-years that do. We drink because it’s fun and it feels good, and a Tolerance Policy will not make this any less so. It will just make it easier to be irresponsible.

This letter is not saying that the current alcohol policy doesn’t need changing. For instance, Medical Amnesty saves lives when drunken students become more concerned about disciplinary hearings than their health.

Amnesty for students who don’t drink at parties where alcohol is served can lessen the divide between sub-free and the rest. It also allows for more careful eyes on drinking students without punishing anyone for being responsible community members.

We need change on this campus, both in policy and in student responsibility, and to achieve this we need a reasonable and adult conversation.

So I say to those who agree with the arguments made by Mr. Hazzard: if you don’t want to be treated like a child, don’t offer childish solutions to adult problems.