[CR] Week in Review

Late this week, researchers at the University of Minnesota announced the results of a new study which serves as more evidence that Legal Age 21 isn’t doing much to curb dangerous alcohol consumption. The research team surveyed students on 18 of the heaviest-drinking college campuses across the country, and found little improvement over a twelve-year period. According to the study, which will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, the percentage of students who said they frequently binged actually increased from 1993 to 2005. Lead researcher Toben Nelson said, “Clearly the work is not over, because what has been done so far has not put a dent in the problem.” Despite the increased attention and resources exhausted while trying to improve this culture over the course of those twelve years, there’s little to show for these efforts. Perhaps it’s time to consider some new alternatives to a law that hasn’t had a positive impact?

Stories this week:

In case you missed Roanoke Times editor Matt Chittum’s state-wide survey of alcohol policies on Virginia college campuses, you can find those results at the TimesDataBlog.

Following up on last week’s article for parents about the differences between on-campus and off-campus alcohol policies, Suzanne Mims of the DC Examiner Online wrote about the Amethyst Initiative and the colleges in the DC metro area that have signed on.

Ben Byrnes, a reporter with The Rotunda at Longwood University, expressed his displeasure with certain types of abstinence-based alcohol education programs in a mid-week article about the Amethyst Initiative. He wrote that certain campaigns place alcohol “into the large category of drugs that people can become addicted to and the repercussions of that addiction,” but don’t address “how to help solve the problem of excessive drinking and how colleges and universities can alleviate some of those problems.”

The editors of The Volante, the student newspaper at the University of South Dakota, wrote that they’re in favor of exploring alternatives to Legal Age 21 in their Tuesday editorial. New policies, they argued, would offer “a chance to stop throwing the book at the under-21 crowd and allowing them to be the voting, draft-eligible adults that they are.”

In other news…

The Massachusetts legislature is considering legislation that would ban all alcohol advertising on state property, including public transit. According to the Associated Press, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is one of only two public transit systems nationwide that explicitly allows alcohol advertising. What are your thoughts on this proposal?

The Gordie Foundation has announced the date for its second-annual National GORDIEday, which will take place on college campuses across the country on September 24th. Read the announcement to learn more about how you can get involved.

If you saw an important story that we missed, leave us a link in the comments.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with an alcohol education program. The research team from the University of Minnesota has confirmed that there’s a long way to go in improving the culture of alcohol responsibility among those 18-20. Abstinence alcohol programs don’t work and must not be offered in universities because those programs don’t solve any problems. Massachusetts shouldn’t ban alcohol advertising on state property. South Dakota must allow those aged 18-20 to drink responsibily in bars.