Staff editorial: Report card wary of lower drinking age
Amethyst Initiative: D
A petition calling for a change in the legal drinking age has been circulating on college campuses. Distributed to presidents and chancellors, the proposal is intended to combat binge drinking and "reopen public debate over the drinking age."
Binge drinking is dangerous and the act is more prevalent on college campuses, but it is not limited to those younger than 21. A 2007 Associated Press article reported that about 15 percent of U.S. adults fit the profile of a binge drinker. Allowing younger people to legally drink will not necessarily stop them from bingeing.
If the drinking age is to be changed it should be because 18-year-olds are responsible and mature enough to consume alcohol. To consider lowering the age because some have been abusing it is to consider rewarding individuals for doing the wrong thing. If the Amethyst Initiative is accepted, it would only mean they can do the wrong thing legally.
An Associated Press article from Thursday discussed an opposition group that formed in New Jersey in response to the initiative. Attorney General Anne Milgram said, "Since the drinking age was raised to 21 in New Jersey in the 1980s, we have seen nearly a 78 percent decrease in the number of young people ages 18 to 20 who have been killed in drunk driving crashes."
The solution to binge drinking isn’t a new drinking age, it’s better education on alcohol safety.
Investigation of student athletes: A
Sociology professor Joseph Kotarba has suggested the University issue a survey to student athletes that would compare their academic experience to that of a standard student.
The survey is designed to explore whether student athletes were held to the same admissions standards, including grade-point averages and SAT scores. It will also examine how the University incorporates athletics into the school.
The results of such a survey would only benefit the University, regardless of whether practices are found fair.
Athletics are an important part of any campus, but they should never come before the true function of a university: to educate students. All students should be treated equally, regardless of athletic ability.
UH would be wise to approve the issuance of the survey. Any wrongdoing could tarnish the University’s image, but it would be best to set things straight sooner rather than later, especially when UH is working toward flagship status.