I was “socially trained” the other day. What is social training you ask? Well, it is intended to be an information session about UR’s drinking policies and approaches for dealing with intoxicated people. What it really is, unfortunately, is a comedy hour full of unrealistic rules that even the student instructor can’t help but quietly snicker at. The policies at this school wouldn’t hold up in my grandma’s retirement home, let alone on a college campus. This school honestly believes that college students should not and will not socially drink. I might expect to see such an ignorant view of reality from aged politicians who are far removed from common society, but not from a university that can directly witness and control college life. Social drinking has been a part of normal social development for ages, and a simple change of rules cannot change human nature.As a senior, I can say first- hand that the past few years have brought a dismal demise of what was once a fun and safe social scene here at the UR. A formerly spirited and contented student body now wearily mopes through weekends trying to find something, anything to warrant leaving their dorm room. It may come to the surprise of the administration, but ice cream socials and movies on the lawn are not what experimental and explorative young adults are interested in.What the administration needs to realize is a plain and simple truth – that college kids are going to drink and that there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. Trying to prevent young people from living and experiencing a normal social life is like trying to keep wild animals in a cage.More and more problems are going to arise as the school continues to make it increasingly difficult for students to have fun and enjoy the college environment. When you take away the atmosphere where people can drink casually in the company of their friends, problems are bound to arise. This is evidenced by an increase in MERT emergency calls over the past year. That’s right folks, since the school has started severely cracking down on the Fraternity Quad and placing every house on probation, there have been more alcohol related problems. Isn’t this an obvious message?Maybe it’s time for administration to realize that the only thing they are accomplishing by steadily drying up our campus is, in effect, forcing students to drink privately and excessively in their rooms or to attempt to use fake IDs at bars. This behavior is highly risky and dangerous to everyone, not just those who choose to drink. Perhaps administration does realize the extra risk they are creating but just doesn’t care. After all, by having such stringent rules, they are making sure that the blame, in the case of a lawsuit, does not fall on the school. In other words, even though administration is creating more risk to students, the liability for that risk is not their responsibility. So what can the school do to make social life on campus safer and more fun at the same time? They must work with student leaders to create reasonable and attainable social rules and they must be more sensible in how those rules are enforced. For example, backing your car out of your driveway is illegal, but police officers never actually ticket you for it. By the same token, administration must learn to distinguish the harmless and innocent social drinking that is bound to occur from the truly risky behavior that can bring real harm to our campus.However, before any of this can happen the school must come to terms with reality and begin to realize and accept the fact that college students are going to drink. Not only are they going to drink, they are going to get drunk. They are going to have fun while binge drinking and playing drinking games, and are going to gorge themselves on cheese fries and garbage plates. And on occasion they are going to have that life changing experience of hugging the toilet bowl while vowing to “Never drink again!” only to get right back on the horse the following weekend. This is the simple and inevitable truth that has been the standard at colleges for decades. Only when the university wakes up from its wet dream -or should I say dry dream – of sober college kids can there begin to be any improvement in the safety and quality of social life on this campus.Voisine can be reached at cvoisine@campustimes.org.



Notes by Nadia: What’s wrong with being a fan?

I wish that people would just mind their business and stop acting like being a fan of an artist is “weird.”

Campus roadways getting a fresh coat of paint

Campus roadways will be getting new paint stripes — including all double yellow, cross walks, stop lettering, and parallel parking…

Making first impressions: Don’t get stuck in your head

Perhaps the only way to prevent yourself from sinking into that ocean of once-seen faces, to light a rescue beacon before it’s too late, is to do something remarkable.