College life is full of long lasting and respected traditions such as attending sporting events, social events, and participating in Greek life. Although all of these said traditions are meant to be fun and have been in tact for hundreds of years, there can often times be harmful consequences involving alcohol, a factor that often times plays a significant role.
Alcohol can be extremely dangerous when consumed in large amounts, which is often how it is handled on college campuses. The incidents that can occur are alcohol poisoning, lapse in judgement which can lead to careless mistakes, or in extreme cases; death.
Number of Students effected by excessive drinking
Check IDs More Thoroughly
By checking the age and ID of the person buying the alcohol, many believe there is a possibility this could limit the amount of incidents.
Many college towns consist of bars, clubs, and restaurants that tend to “turn a blind eye” when it comes to checking IDs and serving alcohol to minors
PROS: It is illegal to buy alcohol underage, and illegal for establishments to serve minors.
CONS: Owners complain that they will lose business, students will find another way to obtain alcohol in a possibly less controlled setting or way.
While there is no harm in checking IDs more thoroughly, there is no way of knowing whether or not that would completely diminish the problem at hand.
Make Consequences More Extreme
A minor in possession (otherwise known as an MIP) is what students could get charged with when caught in the possession of alcohol or under the influence.
In the State of Arizona for example, the consequences include: having a permanent record, fines, probation, community service, mandatory attendance of alcohol education, or jail time.
All of these seem like serious consequences, but on college campuses, many of these do not exist. There is a sense of immunity considering “its college and everybody does it.”
A study given by the University of California Davis asked students what a consequence to being caught at a party with alcohol and the most common reply they got was that the party would get shut down and they would have to go home.
Lowering the drinking age
One solution to this problem was lowering the drinking age in the United States
This solution could cause more harm than good and is a gamble considering we will not know the effects until after it has been passed. It could take years to pass, which contradicts the argument of finding a quick and effective way of limiting the incidents from occurring.
By the age of 18, people can vote, serve for our country, tried as an adult in the court of law, fend for themselves, and live on their own in many cases, etc. but legally cannot have an alcoholic beverage.
For example, in Europe, alcohol is seen as a social norm and kids are taught how to be responsible with it from an earlier age, while learning their tolerance and the various side effects in a more upfront and transparent way.
Bernat, Debrah, Kathleen Lenk, and Toben Nelson. "College Law Enforcement and Security Department Responses to Alcohol-Related Incidents: A National Study." N.p., 14 July 2014. Web.
Beth Mcmurtrie | The Chronicle Of Higher Education. "Why Colleges Haven't Stopped Binge Drinking." The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
"Colleges Can Be Doing More to Combat Drinking Culture, Study Says." USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 22 July 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Dowdall, George W. College Drinking: Reframing a Social Problem. N.p.:n.p.,n.d. Print.