In a couple of weeks, the new and improved version of D-Day will be celebrated at UR, which will include more protection for drunk students, such as increased emergency medical response and other additions. I readily agree that providing these services for students this day is a good idea. I believe that it was ridiculous that the university came close to cancelling it in the first place. I firmly believe that the general American attitude – especially toward alcohol in particular – is very backward. We are stuck firmly with the Puritans in the 1620s in believing that alcohol is the source of all of life’s problems, that it must be restricted to the population at large, and finally, that people must be protected from it for their own good! When will we finally join the more enlightened countries – which is most of the Earth, by the way – in recognizing that alcohol, like everything else in life, is simply something else to use in moderation? And the idea of using society’s resources to protect people from “demon rum” is simply absurd. Most of the world realized long ago that the more you restrict something, the more popular it becomes. Why not learn from their previous mistakes? Unfortunately, not many or enough Americans – or UR students – take advantage of the opportunity to visit foreign countries, through such programs as study abroad. If they did, they would see how utterly backward current American society is. The very idea of preventing a public party simply because too many people might get drunk and hurt themselves is a bizarre concept to most of the world. People are supposed to take responsibility for their own actions and learn from their mistakes. For example, I am currently studying at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, a 640-year-old institution with many revered traditions and customs, one of which includes the Juvenalia, a celebration in mid-May which puts our D-Day to shame. For four straight days 150,000 students from over 20 different universities – other have adopted it over the years – take over Krakow and have a humongous party. If some student group suggested that the party be shut down because someone might get hurt while drinking, they’d be laughed out of the room.In most of the world, what a person does is their responsibility, and not of the society at large – not so in the United States. We are so concerned with preventing any sort of accident that we’ve stopped teaching people responsibility. And we’ve become so preoccupied in preserving our precious morality that we’ve become a bunch of Victorian prudes. Go take your head out of your ass, America, and have a drink. Newmark can be reached at

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