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Bottoms Up? College Presidents Seek Debate On Drinking Age

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Bottoms Up? College Presidents Seek Debate On Drinking Age College presidents from about 100 of the nation's best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus. The movement called the Amethyst Initiative began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the drinking age. "This is a law that is routinely evaded," said John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College.

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Michelann Michelann 7 years
I think littering is morally wrong because it negatively effects other people's property. It is not your right to trespass in that way on land that is not your own. When you drink or do drugs, you are only harming your own body. It may not be morally right, but it does not harm other people. It is a self-regarding decision, and every adult has the right to make self-regarding decisions. Even when they hurt themselves.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
I think littering is morally wrong because it negatively effects other people's property. It is not your right to trespass in that way on land that is not your own.When you drink or do drugs, you are only harming your own body. It may not be morally right, but it does not harm other people. It is a self-regarding decision, and every adult has the right to make self-regarding decisions. Even when they hurt themselves.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
A lot of people think littering is morally wrong. It goes along with what the Church has been saying recently about abusing the earth being morally wrong.
stephley stephley 7 years
There are people who believe drinking alcohol and drug use are morally wrong. Who thinks littering is morally wrong? Just because you think something is obvious doesn't mean you are correct.
stephley stephley 7 years
There are people who believe drinking alcohol and drug use are morally wrong. Who thinks littering is morally wrong?Just because you think something is obvious doesn't mean you are correct.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Killing people,having sex with children, and littering are all morally wrong and effect another human being. Drinking does not. Neither does drug use. But drug prohibition is another issue. Suggesting that college presidents "look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider" still implies that you feel "recreational drinking by all adults" is something that needs to be reconsidered. That's fairly obvious.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Killing people,having sex with children, and littering are all morally wrong and effect another human being. Drinking does not. Neither does drug use. But drug prohibition is another issue.Suggesting that college presidents "look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider" still implies that you feel "recreational drinking by all adults" is something that needs to be reconsidered. That's fairly obvious.
stephley stephley 7 years
Laws against killing other people haven't stopped the killing, drug laws haven't stopped drugs, laws against having sex with children haven't stopped people from having sex with children. Littering laws haven't stopped littering... "I'm not against drinking" refers to me. "look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider" is in a sentence suggesting a different approach for the college presidents.
stephley stephley 7 years
Laws against killing other people haven't stopped the killing, drug laws haven't stopped drugs, laws against having sex with children haven't stopped people from having sex with children. Littering laws haven't stopped littering..."I'm not against drinking" refers to me. "look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider" is in a sentence suggesting a different approach for the college presidents.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 7 years
Prohibition didn't work, it was repealed. The current age doesn't work, it should be repealed.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 7 years
Prohibition actually made the problem worse in the United States if you ask me, and a lot of historical information can back it up. In fact, I believe that is exactly what these presidents are arguing. The policy is simply not working and needs to be fixed.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
"I'm not against drinking" and saying we should "look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider" are contradictory statements. Maybe you should have included a disclaimer that you consider recreation drinking in general a negative thing. I might not have bothered to argue with you.
stephley stephley 7 years
I generally don't drink - you don't drink and drive, I discovered young that it takes a lot to get me drunk and figured it was dangerous to get used to being able to drink that much. I'm not against drinking, I'm against changing the status quo without a better reason. I understand, based on what Hunter says Gordon Gee's point that the age limit hasn't stopped the underage drinking problem from growing. Prohibition didn't stop drinking or problems either. I just think that rather than giving up, the University presidents would be more useful if they suggested we look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider.
stephley stephley 7 years
I generally don't drink - you don't drink and drive, I discovered young that it takes a lot to get me drunk and figured it was dangerous to get used to being able to drink that much. I'm not against drinking, I'm against changing the status quo without a better reason. I understand, based on what Hunter says Gordon Gee's point that the age limit hasn't stopped the underage drinking problem from growing. Prohibition didn't stop drinking or problems either. I just think that rather than giving up, the University presidents would be more useful if they suggested we look at recreational drinking by all adults as something to reconsider.
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 7 years
Reading some of these comments I really don't think I can make an argument that hasn't already been said in favor of lowering the drinking age. However, I can bring a new perspective to the discussion. Gordon Gee, The Ohio State University President, is a Mormon. He has never had a sip of alcohol by his own admission, but he signed the petition. He said he did so in order to improve the life of students and to open a discussion. And before some nay-sayer goes and says "Yeah, alcohol improves their life", that is not at all what he means, nor what I believe the other presidents believe. I think Gee's point that by having the drinking age at 21 opens a host of problems by having an "underground" drinking situation. Not to make this all about Gee, but his quote says it so well of the culture we have today, "We realize there is a very serious problem of alcohol abuse on university campuses," Gee said. "I've been president at five universities and every one of them has had alcohol abuse."
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Good point. So I guess you shouldn't be able to drink either then?
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Good point. So I guess you shouldn't be able to drink either then?
stephley stephley 7 years
"I answer for every action I do when I have had a drink. I have chosen for myself (rather than simply looking to the law) that it is not wrong to drink, but that it IS wrong to drink and then drive. I have been responsible by definition." Everyone thinks they're responsible and that they always will be and then one day, one time, they're slightly less responsible than usual. Not every person who gets picked up for driving under the influence is a drooling drunk. Everyone thinks they are responsible, until the one day reality shows them that they are flawed. Which we all definitely are. Everyone has lapses of judgment, no one is responsible every second of every day of their entire life.
stephley stephley 7 years
"I answer for every action I do when I have had a drink. I have chosen for myself (rather than simply looking to the law) that it is not wrong to drink, but that it IS wrong to drink and then drive. I have been responsible by definition."Everyone thinks they're responsible and that they always will be and then one day, one time, they're slightly less responsible than usual. Not every person who gets picked up for driving under the influence is a drooling drunk. Everyone thinks they are responsible, until the one day reality shows them that they are flawed. Which we all definitely are. Everyone has lapses of judgment, no one is responsible every second of every day of their entire life.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"the states are bullied into having a 21 drinking age by the federal government. They are denied federal highway money if they don't comply." WOW, I had no idea!!
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"the states are bullied into having a 21 drinking age by the federal government. They are denied federal highway money if they don't comply."WOW, I had no idea!!
Michelann Michelann 7 years
How does "It's the first time I've done it" equal "I think this is responsible behavior"?
stephley stephley 7 years
Well, the feds picked an age and came up with reasons to justify it to the satisfaction of the courts. Most people think they're responsible. Laws often work as backstops when our version of responsible behavior threatens to conflict with society's needs - many people arrested for drunk driving say it's the very first time they've ever done it.
stephley stephley 7 years
Well, the feds picked an age and came up with reasons to justify it to the satisfaction of the courts. Most people think they're responsible. Laws often work as backstops when our version of responsible behavior threatens to conflict with society's needs - many people arrested for drunk driving say it's the very first time they've ever done it.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
HF, awesome.
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