By Phil McMullin
FSU is a dry campus like the United States was a dry country during prohibition.
Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, students can be found drinking on campus or stumbling back from bars and house parties.
This shouldn’t surprise anybody. College students will drink. This is not only true at FSU, but at every college on planet Earth. It is not a new phenomenon, and to think a “dry-campus” policy would change an entire culture is asinine.
That being said, if we are going to have a dry-campus policy, it is important to consider what
punishment fits the crime of being young and drunk in college.
The administration has determined that kicking students off campus for a week after their first offense is appropriate. While harming a student’s academic routine because they partied on a weekend seems counterproductive, it can be argued that students signed a contract acknowledging the ignorant, destructive rules of the University when they agreed to come here.
It may be unjust, but it is the way this community functions.
However, there is another punishment that accompanies drunkenness – only, it is disguised as a safety measure. If a student blows above a .08 on a breathalyzer test, they are forced to go to the hospital in an ambulance.
There are two issues with this. First, the .08 blood/alcohol limit is designed for operating a vehicle. The fact that this standard is borrowed by Campus Police to judge whether a student has ingested a dangerous amount of alcohol when they are not driving is not only preposterous, but lazy. If the administration and Campus Police truly wanted to determine the safety of students, they would use a measure designed to do so.
Second, and more importantly, sending students who are clearly not in danger to the hospital in an ambulance is a waste of time and resources. It is a waste of the ambulance driver’s time, as they could be bringing someone in an actual crisis to safety. It is also a waste of time for the doctors in the emergency room – which is often overcrowded – as they could be treating a patient in desperate need of care.
Despite this, the administration continues to require Campus Police to carry out this ridiculous policy. For the aforementioned reasons, this is clearly not a matter of safety. It is a punishment meant to humiliate students and waste their time.
The dry-campus policy is foolish, but it is one the students have agreed to obey. If they violate the policy, they must face the consequences – no matter how nonsensical those consequences may be.
The problem is the hospital has not agreed to obey the student handbook.
The citizens of Framingham who might need ambulances and emergency room care have not agreed to obey the student handbook.
Yet, they suffer the consequences every time the University uses these precious medical resources to put students in time-out.
If the University has any respect for the surrounding community, they will alter this policy.