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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration


The Problem With Alcohol

The problem with alcohol in State College is that it gets blamed for nearly everything bad that happens downtown. Whenever a fight breaks out, or an accident happens, or when someone gets arrested for drinking underage, “alcohol” is blamed. A serviceable example exists in today’s article in The Daily Collegian: Police: Alcohol Adds To Crimes.

What I mean to say is this: we need to start looking honestly at the problems facing us as a community, and stop citing the obvious as the source of our problems. Alcohol isn’t the source of our problems — people who are brought up in an environment that doesn’t teach how to responsible consume alcohol, but only how to forbid and deny it causes our problem.

We’re not brought up to understand the basics about alcohol consumption. Penn State offers up things like “LateNight” as a solution to “dangerous drinking.” But they’ve got to be joking. Dangerous drinking isn’t fought by promoting a program that offers board games and puzzle pieces — it’s fought with education that matters. And LateNight certainly doesn’t matter; at least not in so far as alcohol is concerned.

Instead of continually blaming alcohol as the problem, maybe we should start being honest with ourselves and admitting that we need to educate our children and ourselves on how best to incorporate alcohol into our culture; because banning it and pretending that it causes all of our problems within a vacuum is not going to make the types of criminal incidents mentioned in the above article go away.

It’s about being honest about alcohol with the realization in mind that, in doing so, we’ll be improving the state of our lives and our University community far into the future by being genuinely responsible in the here and now rather than banning it for the next generation to deal with later.

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Comments

Alcohol is an easy scapegoat in this situation. You can throw the blame at it, and theres not really anyone who can push back. After all, its a lot easier to blame an inanimate chemical for all of ones problems than stepping back and examining the societal breakdown occurring daily.

Ultimately, people are not being taught how to behave properly anymore. Kids grow up with little to no strong set of ethics and morals ingrained into them (Thank the people who complain that disciplining children hurts their self esteem) and than go on into regular life neither knowing or caring how they should behave.

But why worry? We live in the great United States, where if something bad happens, we can all go sue someone.

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