Academia

College Presidents: "How many times must we relearn the lessons of prohibition?"

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they learned stuff at the Symposium, didn't they?

College presidents from Duke, Dartmouth, Ohio State, and dozens of other schools are exhausted. They've tried pretty much everything they can think of to keep 18 to 20-year-olds from having a beer (or 10). It's not working, it's never going to work, and they're petitioning for a change.

The Amethyst Initiative (so called because the Greeks believed the stones could ward off drunkenness) is a pretty cool idea. Here are a bunch of sober (figuratively), unimpeachably serious people who have issued an interesting and well-thought-out declaration about how screwed up their campuses are, in part thanks to a foolishly high drinking age:

A culture of dangerous, clandestine "binge-drinking"—often conducted off-campus—has developed.

Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.

Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.

By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.

They also make an explicit reference to the days of Dry Law, asking: "How many times must we relearn the lessons of prohibition?"

I'm especially keen on this point about eroding respect for the law. One of the first things that many teenagers do to prepare for college is get a fake ID. Congrats highway fund "incentive," you've turned us all into scofflaws before we even get started on adulthood.