Two Schools, One Cup

Two Schools, One Cup

Ryan Geisser

In all colleges, students hope that they will be safe and comfortable in their environment, unafraid of the officials and rules in place to protect them. But in some instances, the enforcement of these rules instills fear and doubt into the student body at large, leading one to wonder how effective these defenses really are.

At Colgate, it is easy to see what prompts this sort of reaction: the current alcohol and drug policy. As discussed in this very newspaper, many students are apprehensive about contacting Campus Safety when a friend needs help, since there is a chance of disciplinary action being taken on the Good Samaritan trying to do the right thing. In a way, the administration has chosen its policies over its students own safety, persecuting rather than protecting the lifeblood of the school.

At another university, Yale, students were again betrayed by officials who are in place to create a safer environment, but who in action could not have done more of the opposite. As more than 100 Yale students danced the night away on October 2 at an upscale nightclub in town called Elevate, chaos struck. In rushed approximately a dozen police officers and state liquor control agents, two of whom were decked out in riot gear and wielding assault rifles. The infiltration of the nightclub was caused by a tip received regarding underage drinking, and the result was explosive. Was the police’s reaction to the tip acceptable?  Possibly. But during their raid, after four students were arrested, one of whom was Tased and punched by a police officer, it appears as though their tactics were completely out of proportion.

The administration of Yale University saw what occurred to their students as a gross infringement of the rights of their students, and has proceeded to support their students in any way, shape or form that they can. In this situation, the administration, rather than going against their students and backing the police’s point of view, took a stand to protect the rights of their student body at large. It is clear that this must not have been an easy decision for the higher ups of the school to make, but all this does is reinforce the importance of the path they have chosen.

Why is this relevant to Colgate? Take a moment to compare the actions taken by two different administrations, and the end result that occurred. The administration at Yale University has remained true to its students regardless of the adversity that it faces, and shows itself as a defender of their rights.

Colgate, on the other hand, with a policy in place meant to “protect” their students, has forced many to try and deal with incredibly dangerous issues on their own, without outside assistance. With death as a grave possibility in some cases, the students should be able to trust their university to protect and keep them safe. The opposite could not be truer with the current alcohol and drug policy.

With one administration acting as the protector of their students, and another persecuting them, something is horribly wrong. How can individuals feel safe in an environment with rules that force an opposite reaction?

It’s time to evolve, Colgate. Change the alcohol and drug policy, and give the student body the protections and safeties that not only it needs, but deserves.