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OUR VIEW: Dry campus policy may need revision

An Editorial Opinion

Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 15:01

 

College is a time when young adults are weaned from their dependence on Mom and Dad and learn to survive on their own. While this is Utah, where many do not drink, it might be time for USU to reconsider letting students and faculty drink on campus.

From a logical standpoint, it makes sense to allow alcohol on campus. For starters, alcohol could bring revenue to the school. Imagine if the Skyroom had a bar in it, sponsored by a major brewing company like Budweiser, or supported by a local business like Wasatch Brewery. It would be a place for the 23 percent of students who do drink to drink safely on campus while giving money to the school. The bar could have a cut-off limit in case students get too tipsy.

By allowing alcohol in certain places on campus, an environment is created for individuals to learn responsible drinking behavior. Too much of the bad rap surrounding alcohol use is due to the “frat party” stereotype shown on television.

Go ahead and put restrictions on places like the dorms, but by restricting alcohol altogether not only are freedoms being prohibited, but individuals and groups from other backgrounds are being kept from living their preferred lifestyle.

This isn’t limited to just students; there are plenty of professors who don’t come from an Latter-day Saint background, yet they aren’t out partying on the weekend either.

Easing alcohol restrictions would create a more welcome environment for out-of-state and international students who may often feel alienated by their peers. This would also attract more out-of-state students, which would certainly ease the financial impact of the admissions shortfall soon to come.

It’s not like USU will become a top-10 party school. Allow consumption and monitor the results. If administration opens an avenue and things start downhill, revise the policies again and tighten the ropes.

A good place to start would be at USU’s sports arenas. Fans already tailgate and drink in the Romney Stadium parking lot: Why not let them buy a beer at the game? Again, this would raise revenue for the school and show students that the university wants them to be responsible by giving them the opportunity.

Most of all, allowing the consumption alcohol shows trust in students. Students are further driven toward rebellion when restrictions are placed upon them. Revising the alcohol restrictions on campus is the first step to expanding — or hopefully removing — the bubble that metaphorically encompasses us.

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