There is nothing that started to ruin my respect more for my SUNY peers than working the overnight shifts at the west side McDonald’s. I would get spit at, hit on and would take orders for students who could barely remember what their name was . I started to study these students who would come in smelling of tequila and beer and I began to notice something. It was always somebody different. It was like they all took different shifts. Some people that went out last weekend would stay in, and a whole new crowd was out the next.
Some students see the excessive amount of bars in Oswego as a good advantage of going to the school, but when you look at real statistics, not a lot of students go out and get into real trouble. It wasn’t until 2012 that we reached over 100 students who were being faced with drug charges, and only 18 people in 2012 were charged with a DWI. Despite the recent spread throughout Oswego of crystal meth and “bath salts,” it seems to have very little influence on the students: given that the majority of the drug arrests are for unlawful possession of marijuana. Only eight students in 2012 were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Like any other college atmosphere, the usual controlled substances that go around the most are amphetamines such as Ritalin and Adderall. Some students take these drugs when they’re stressed and need to stay up all night to cram and get their work done. Even with enormous amounts of stress. Even with the known use of these kinds of drugs as “study aids,” the arrests for being caught with these controlled substances were only 10 people from both 2012 and 2013. Also, in 2012 and 2013 the difference between charges of unlawful possession of marijuana has actually gone down from 125 to 107 people.
The campus knows that every weekend the bars will be packed, and services try to accommodate safe conditions, such as the D-Bus and other shuttles throughout the night for students. Especially in the cold winter conditions it becomes extremely important to make sure you can get home safely without acquiring hypothermia or frostbite from passing out drunk somewhere.
While it is necessary to get out and have fun every once in a while, there are numerous activities around campus and the town other than drinking and doing drugs. If you make it across the stage to get your diploma, you should have gained the time management skills that led you to this accomplishment. If only 150 students at the maximum are being arrested for these drug crimes, then that leaves thousands of students that are out there doing other things with their time.
There are about five gyms located across town, including a rock climbing and a boxing club. You can go hiking and swimming, out to the movies or even just sit in the Campus Center hearth lounge to play a game like Magic the Gathering with your friends. If you are spending your entire day getting high or every weekend drunk, chances are you won’t last very long here.
What it boils down to at Oswego is just a regular college atmosphere where some people will be influenced by drugs and alcohol, and others will not. There isn’t an overwhelming drug addiction atmosphere. In fact, I happen to believe that we have a challenging and intellectually stimulating learning atmosphere around here. Some people just know how to take more advantage of all the school has to offer. For the others that can’t manage their time well and succumb to the influence of drugs and alcohol all the time, it seems like a waste of time and money. However, I don’t believe the whole school should be looked down upon for those that are mistreating their own time and wealth, especially when there are so many other students trying to reach their fullest potential here at Oswego State.