This year, the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) committee that regulates the on-campus alcohol policy changed the legal limit of alcohol one can possess. The previous policy limited those 21 years of age or older to 30 twelve oz. cans or bottles of beer, a gallon of wine, or one quart of liquor. The new policy lessens the amount to to 12 12-oz. cans or bottles of beer, 1.5 liters of wine, or 750 milliliters of hard liquor.
Just like with other privileges, the use of alcohol requires a certain amount of responsibility. But the policy that the AOD passed doesn’t put the burden to drink responsibly on students, it puts it on the staff.
The staff hold the responsibility of checking how much alcohol is brought into the building. Roommates who wish to split a case of 24 beers must separate them before entering the residence hall, or else they face confiscation.
Oswego State can be proud in the fact that they have remained a “wet” campus while so many other campuses in the country prohibit any and all types of alcohol. The amount of training that employees must have to enforce the alcohol policy and the lengths that University Police must go to to check to see that students are drinking responsibly is commendable. It must be very difficult to monitor a wet campus where legal and underage students are continually mixing.
There is no overreaching SUNY policy that dictates what individual campus policies should be. That is proven in a quick look at other SUNY schools. SUNY New Paltz doesn’t list restrictions on alcohol while SUNY Binghamton specifies “one case of beer (288 oz), two liters of wine and two liters of distilled spirits for personal use only.”
In college we are treated, for the most part, like adults. We have the freedom to choose our own classes, where we live and what we choose to eat. The college doesn’t monitor whether we eat three square meals a day or if we get eight hours of sleep every night.
It is true that alcohol can have adverse effects on a student’s body and temperament, but it’s also a student’s responsibility to make sure that they drink responsibly. There is enough information provided by campus organizations to help students drink responsibly.
Being restricted to 12 beers or 750 milliliters of liquor isn’t going to make previously irresponsible drinkers responsible. It might make them more creative in finding ways around the policy though.
As most college students know, those determined to heavily drink will find a way to drink regardless of restrictions. The college cannot reasonably expect that by restricting the amount of alcohol present on campus will prevent future alcoholics from obtaining large quantities of alcohol.
The college has done an excellent job of educating students on safe alcohol use. But just like a service like the “Drunk Bus” doesn’t prevent students from drinking and driving, a restricted alcohol policy won’t prevent them from drinking excessively.
The college needs to realize that there are some students that can handle having more than the new alcohol policy allows in their room and not be tempted to drink it all at once.