Our school does not tolerate alcoholic beverages on campus, except for graduate students and social events. The issue over whether or not St. John’s should be a wet campus is an issue of accountability and responsibility.
By the time most students graduate, they will be 21 years old, if not older. So, at least all students of legal age should be allowed to drink, if not without restriction, then in the presence of other students old enough to throw one back.
Some schools, such as Hofstra University, maintain such a policy. Hofstra’s Campus Safety Report says the university “encourages and sustains an academic environment that respects individual freedoms.” If students are of age, the decision should ultimately be theirs.
Now, there is still a concern that students who are underage will gain access to the alcohol that older students are allowed to have. The fact of the matter is underage drinking will take place no matter what. There’s no way to avoid it; it happens on campuses all over the country.
If older students don’t run over to a local gas station or supermarket to buy alcohol, then those with fake IDs can and will. To top it off, there are bars and clubs all over New York that are lenient on underage drinkers. To say the least, much worse things are more likely to happen to students off campus than on campus in a dorm while being monitored by RAs.
Underage drinking is going to happen, just like students are going to stay up later than they should. At the end of the day, it is all about individual responsibility. You see it in every commercial for an alcoholic beverage: “Please drink responsibly.”
Drinking in excess can lead to violence, sexual encounters, or, of course, the infamous drunk dial.
Perhaps the biggest concern linked with alcohol consumption is drunk driving. If this is a concern of administrators, then having an alcohol tolerating campus would theoretically put more peoples’ minds at ease and fewer students’ lives at risk. People who go out drinking may drive to their destination, which would force them to drive back with the chance of being intoxicated.
Why not completely avoid the possibility of such a situation by allowing students who are of age to drink on campus? Underage students have always consumed alcohol on college campuses and will continue to do so until the end of man. So if that is the main concern for administrators, it is not one that can be stopped.
There is no way to avoid these things from happening. Therefore, ideally, the best thing to do would have the school moderate and enforce rules regarding alcohol on campus, rather than outright banning it.