Folks, Be Responsible

Matt DiGiovanni

It’s pretty much guaranteed that at some point or another during anyone’s college career, they will end up dealing with someone who is intoxicated. Now that’s not to say that someone can’t avoid alcohol if they choose to; however, in general, it is a very prevalent substance. Lately, the new fad in alcohol has been alcoholic energy drinks such as Joose and Four Loko, beverages that combine high quantities of caffeine with somewhere between six and twelve percent alcohol by volume in a 23.5 ounce can. This brings us to the topic of my editorial! Wait for it… irresponsible consumption of alcoholic beverages!

Many people across the country call for the drinking age to be lowered to eighteen again, using the argument that the reason binge drinking is so prevalent is because of the strict regulation. Conversely, others think that even if the drinking age is lowered, the number of people who abuse alcohol will not drastically change. Personally, I think the problem spawns from the light that alcoholic substances are held in. If you treat something differently and highlight it, naturally kids will grow up thinking of that thing in its own unique way. With alcohol, this commonly means treating it as a precious rare commodity that should be consumed in large quantities when available, since who knows when the next opportunity will arise.

Reading a brief report by an Indiana University professor, Ruth C. Engs states that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 or 19, and young adults should be taught responsible drinking habits in controlled environments such as restaurants and official school and university functions.

This past weekend I had an experience where someone I know drank too much and ended up being sick. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to have a good time, but self control is important. Why be overly reckless and binge drink? Besides physical repercussions, intoxication can impede judgment and that opens up a completely new realm of bad possibilities.

Don’t read this and think that I am trying to preach to the student body but think how it looks when young adults are pushing for a reduced drinking age while downing more alcohol more recklessly. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that change isn’t likely to happen if it seems that the result will be negative.

To wrap this up, I just want to bring the Substance Use Task Force to everyone’s attention. This committee is made up of faculty, staff, and students, and they meet two times monthly to discuss issues of substance abuse. Ric Baker, the Assistant Dean of Students, heads this committee and is currently meeting to discuss what, if any, action should be taken on the issue of alcoholic energy drinks. If you have any opinion on this and would like your voice heard, email Ric at [email protected], and he will take the information with him to the next meeting.

Try to be responsible adults! You can have fun and be safe all at the same time; imagine that!