Recently, many who read the “Think Safe” report released by UR Security were shocked to learn that liquor law violations on the River Campus increased to 219 incidents from last year. 219? Sounds like a Saturday night on the Fraternity Quad. UR Security ascribes this increase to a “change in behaviors.” I’m sorry, but I find it hard to believe that there was a 54 percent increase in drinking on campus from the previous year. The use of alcohol in college seems to be a fairly constant. This raises a question concerning where the number comes from – I’m not questioning the validity of the data, but rather the enforcement.

The alcohol policy is enforced with a capriciousness that makes the people they’re targeting look stone cold sober. This could almost be struck down under the heading “cruel and unusual punishment.” However, the Office of the Dean of Students – the department that sets this policy – is in a difficult situation. Underage drinking has become firmly entrenched in the college dynamic.

The main concern is weighing access to medical care versus law enforcement. Here at UR, in order to get medical assistance for alcohol poisoning, security officials must be present. This certainly reduces the likelihood of someone asking for medical assistance when they are in distress. Colleges around the country are trying to deal with this same problem. Mindful of this, some have opted to decriminalize alcohol use on campus and focus on safety. Certainly, the Office of the Dean of Students needs to comply with all federal and state laws regarding this matter, but the safety of students is paramount. Will it take a disaster to prove this point?

Students are still to blame in this matter. UR can only decriminalize alcohol in the hope that it will temper alcohol usage and abuse. The amount of drinking that occurs on campus, not only on the weekends but also during the week, quite frankly, is disgusting.

I am not advocating doing away with fun in college. Quite the opposite. College is an excellent time to let loose and have a good time, but excessive alcohol usage is not the way. First and foremost, we are all here – and paying to be here – to be educated.

I prefer that my doctor remembers everything from his anatomy class or that the engineer who designed the building I live in remembers how to properly distribute loads. Why does having fun require excessive amounts of alcohol? A recent study found that surprisingly, an environment filled with binge drinking does not promote good comprehension and memory retention.

There’s nothing wrong with alcohol, but you don’t have to get wasted in order to have a good night. Needing alcohol to have fun doesn’t make you cool – it makes you a drunk.

Now – has anyone seen my beer?

Klein can be reached at jklein@campustimes.org.



Time unfortunately still a circle

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humanity’s been blessed with one terrible curse: the realization that all things are, in fact, cyclical.

Furries on UR campus?

A few months ago, as I did my daily walk to class through the tunnels to escape the February cold,…

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.