Signing the Amethyst initiative is weighed with life experiences

I agree with your recent editorial that there should be an honest and candid conversation on campus about alcohol use.

I disagree that I need to sign the Amethyst Initiative for such a conversation to occur.

There is a good deal more complexity in this issue than so far has been discussed.

On Sept. 18, for example, I attended the Memorial Service for Scott Leister, an undergraduate who was killed in an automobile accident in California by a drunken driver. Throughout my career I have attended other services for victims of drunken driving and feel passionately that I want to support every step that reduces the incidence of such terrible tragedies and every step that protects our students’ health. For me, signing an initiative, when the evidence is at best ambiguous as to whether this would reduce student alcoholism is not an abstraction, but has to be weighed against too many real life incidents that I have experienced here and elsewhere.

This is a serious issue worth further investigation and reflection. I think we can agree on that. We are all concerned about student safety and the responsible consumption of alcohol.

Joel Seligman
UR President

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