May, 20 2012
College Presidents call for debate on lowering the drinking age to 18
I read the article “College Presidents call for debate on lowering the drinking age to 18”, which was published in the Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly Newsletter on September 8, 2008. In my opinion, there is not a lot of value and credibility to this article. John McArdell, the President of Middlebury College is the head of a group called Amethyst Initiative. It is a group of 129 college presidents that would like to see the legal drinking lowered to 18 years old. This article lacks credibility as there is no statistical data to support that alcohol abuse and binge drinking would decrease by lowering the drinking age. (The problem isn’t underage drinking per se, according to John McArdell, president emeritus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT and spokesman for the Amethyst Initiative. The problem is that underaged drinking is now forced off campus, leading to a “culture of clandestine, binge-drinking”, according to the group’s statement, signed by the 129 college presidents. (Periodicals, 2008)) I am confused by the above statement. I fail to see how when underage drinking occurs on campus, there is less binge-drinking versus being off campus. I would think that binge-drinking is binge-drinking and can be done anywhere. I live near Middlebury College and have observed the behavior of Middlebury College students both in the public eye and in the emergency room at the local hospital. Based upon my experience, there is a lot of underage drinking that occurs on-campus. I have been in the ER when students have been brought in from alcohol poisoning, etc. I would need to see substantial evidence that lowering the drinking age to 18 would in fact make an impact in communities nationwide. The President of NAATP issued an open letter to the college presidents. ( To...