Editor Speaks Out: Students must be responsible about on-campus drinking

Bethany Dionne

I’m not a saint. None of us are. Being under 21 can really put a damper on being a college student, but we all find ways around it. I did, too.

My first five semesters at Quinnipiac, I was under age. But I didn’t let that stop me from going out to parties and drinking. The majority of us have done it and think nothing of it. Security and the Residential Assistants know that the greater number of students on campus are under age and that every weekend, parties are inescapable.

However, many people think drinking is a problem on this campus. Is it any bigger of a problem here than anywhere else? Or is it just that we go to a smaller school and it’s more noticeable? No one really has these answers, but one thing is for sure, and that is that accidents that have increased over the last few years and can be avoided if people are more careful. Since 2001, at least seven Quinnipiac students have lost their lives due to accidents occurring when excessive drinking was involved.

Is anyone really to blame for these terrible accidents, or is there a way to avoid them in the future? College students are technically adults and should be treated as such. But when it comes to safety, should security and the RA staff crack down and be stricter with alcohol policies? Page 66-67 of the Quinnipiac University Handbook discusses the alcohol and drug policy and the possible consequences. It says there is a no tolerance for driving while under the influence and also that the Quinnipiac community expects students to comply with the state of Connecticut law that “prohibits possession, distribution or consumption by those under the age of 21.” For the most part, we have all broken this law on more than one occasion. Is it disrespectful when we as students expect the RA’s, who many times we are friends with, to pretend they didn’t see us drinking? Or should we, as adults, step up and take responsibilities for our actions.

Don’t think I’m not at fault either, because I can recall many times when I was friends with an RA and he or she walked away or told my friends and I to just “quiet down a little” at parties. We put these RA’s in a difficult spot when we, as underage students, break the rules that we are completely aware of.

The solution may seem simple, but it’s not. Residential Life could make stricter regulations with more severe punishment. Maybe RA’s should step up and enforce the rules more then they have been. But, in the end, it comes down to the students. No matter what, there is no way to stop everyone from drinking. Students need to realize what a difficult position they put RA’s into and be more mature and responsible. They also need to be careful about how much they consume and what they are doing.

Too many accidents occur when people lose control, and we as a community need to take action. We cannot keep losing our fellow classmates because we get carried away and can’t control ourselves. Many students don’t know their tolerance and get sick; some even end up at Yale- New Haven Hospital getting their stomachs pumped. Other students are just loud and disrespectful, making a mess for facilities to clean up the next day. Something needs to be done and it needs to start with the students. We need to work together to avoid this problem and show respect for ourselves and those around us.