Pressure from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, safety experts, and politicians has sobered up two college presidents who originally attached their names to a petition to lower the drinking age. In the meantime, 15 other presidents added their names.
Kendall Blanchard, the president of Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, and Robert M. Franklin, the president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, removed their names from the list of 123 presidents in favor of lowering the drinking age to 18. Blanchard said, “It was clear to me that they didn’t see this as a dialogue; they saw this as some kind of effort on our part to turn our schools into party schools.”
Leaders from schools including Dartmouth, Duke, and Tufts argue that the legal age of 21 brews a binge-drinking culture and is disrespect of the law. Students feel the need to use fake IDs, and drink the forbidden appletini in secret. To see what the other side has to say, read more.
Those in favor of 21 point out that a higher drinking age has had positive results, including a reduction in alcohol-related traffic deaths among young drivers. Perhaps a new law could lower the drinking age, but keep a zero-tolerance policy for younger drivers: if they've had even one drink and then drive, they've broken the law.
While both sides of the age debate have compelling arguments, it would be a shame if a discussion got shut down before it started. Would college students be more responsible if we stop treating them like they're irresponsible?