[CR] Week in Review

We hope you’ve had a chance to check out both sides of the drinking age debate brewing at CNN.com and our response to the team of researchers who defended Legal Age 21 in their commentary. After they were posted, we heard from one parent who wrote to the researchers and told them he thinks 21 isn’t working: “My son will turn 21 in November of this year, so for him it will no longer be an issue, but, as my son stated to me for the past year, is he, or the other young adults that will turn 21, going to hit a magic button that will place maturity and responsibility into them like an injection into their arm? No.” If you’d like to send us your feedback, you can e-mail us or tell us your story and share it with the rest of the [CR] community. And if you want to catch up on other newsworthy items from this week, check out these headlines:

Stories this week:

A few weeks ago, Alan Greenblatt of Governing magazine interviewed [CR] President John McCardell for a cover story about the age of majority and the drinking age debate. After discussing some of the problems associated with the mixed messages we often send to young adults about alcohol, Greenblatt concluded,

“It would be useful, however, for states to think more broadly when it comes to the age of responsibility. States have been acting in ever-more-punitive ways toward teens. Yet the point of laws regulating the behavior of young people should not be to restrict them. It’s to begin educating them in the ways of responsible adulthood. What’s important, after all, is not passing a test or meeting an arbitrary age requirement, but learning lessons and applying them to real life.”

Check out Governing online to read the whole thing.

Amethyst Initiative signatory Georgia Nugent of Kenyon College has helped launch a new anti-binge drinking campaign that focuses on journal writing as a method of individual counseling. Read Mark Jordan’s Wednesday article in the Mount Vernon News for more information.

October 15 will be a busy day for [CR] representatives. President John McCardell will be at Texas Tech University debating William DeJong of the Boston University School of Public Health, and Board Member Barry Seaman will visit Bridgewater College in Virginia to debate James Fell of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Check the Texas Tech calendar and the Staunton News Leader for details if you’re interested in attending either of these events.

In other news…

Tanya Mohn, a contributor to the New York Times’ “Wheels” blog, published a post on Tuesday about the growing popularity of ignition interlock technology to combat drunk driving. Currently, there are several different technological approaches being developed, and one program manager said that new devices that perform skin and air analysis could be vehicle-ready “within 10 years.”

Alcohol-related violations at Northern Arizona University have shot upward since 2006 – according to Larry Hendricks of the Arizona Daily Star, campus administrators dealt with 200 more violations in 2008 than they did in 2007.

We came across several columns in student newspapers this week that supported the drinking age debate – you can browse the articles in the UConn Daily Campus, Inside Vandy, Northern Michigan’s North Wind, and the Fairfield Mirror at Fairfield University. If you’re a college student and you’d like to get a sense of what your colleagues are saying about the drinking age, these columns serve as a good primer.

Did you find another article in your college or local newspaper that we missed? Send us a link in the comments section.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with an alcohol education program. Using the age of 21 for consuming alcohol strips away at the power of the age of majority, 18. States must not make laws which unecessarily restrict the rights and privileges of young people, especially of those age 18-20. Binge drinking is a common problem at universities and is way a campaign against it is necessary, such as that at Kenyon College. All student newspapers in universities should support the important debate on the ageist drinking age.