Discourse / Editorials / October 5, 2011

Thoughts from the Embers: Being mature about drinking at college

Over the first few weeks there have been a large number of drinking violations throughout campus, as well as a number of transports to the hospital due to the over consumption of alcohol.

In 2010, the campus experienced a total of 35 alcohol related incidences that violated the law, according to the Clery report. While the books are far from closed on the year, there is a good chance that they will be higher than last year’s numbers due in part to the increase of reports this term.

Maybe you think this Embers doesn’t affect you, but as long as you are a member of the Knox community, the well being of your fellow students should be on your mind.

While eradicating the problem of underage drinking is next to impossible, the issue can be improved with a few fixes. Tackling any one of the contributing issues would reduce these numbers, but multiple areas on campus, like policies, can improve their actions, thereby doing more to keep students safe.

We here at TKS can’t condone a prohibition mindset for underage students and we are not trying to say you shouldn’t have fun, but we do encourage a safer mindset for our fellow students. There is a large difference between having fun and going to the hospital, and students should be mindful of safe drinking practices.

We are not your residential advisor or your orientation leader and we hope to not spout the same stuff you hear each year, but we are your classmates, and it is our job as much as it is yours to watch over the well-being of your fellow students.

Let’s not forget what the school policy on alcohol is too. Open alcohol containers are not allowed in any public space, including your suite areas and it doesn’t even matter if you are of drinking age. You can update yourself with the full list of rules online. You may not agree with the drinking policy on campus, but you still should be mindful of the rules.

The situation is bound to arise where the over-consumption of alcohol will occur, we are in college and your drinking may become excessive. When this situation happens, do not fear Campus Safety; they are there to make sure of your well-being first.

While safe drinking habits and an observant campus will help with the problem, campus policy needs reform as well. The policy, which invites confusion and drives binge drinking underground, needs to be changed with student input to insure the safety of students. A more open policy will lower over drinking and allow for a more preventative mindset of residential advisers and Campus Safety.

Next time you head out on a Friday, Saturday or any day of the week, be sure have a responsible friend to watch out for you. Despite your best efforts, you always have the chance of getting out of control and a friend can be there to tell you to slow down, to walk you home or on a rare occasion, contact someone for medical help.

So be safe, be responsible and watch over your fellow students; we are a community and it’s our responsibility to watch out for the well-being of everyone.

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