By Chris Barts
College is a time of increasing risks, both for students and the society they live in. It is a persons true attempt at life beyond the place that has been the center of life ever since birth: the home. College is not only a place of academic learning, it is a place to teach vital social skills, skills that must be taught before students become adults.
One of these skills is using alcohol responsibly. Nobody in touch with current colleges would deny that drinking is a problem. Binge drinking, the subject of one of my previous articles, is a very serious issue and claims more lives than anyone would like to admit. Educating the students about this problem is vital, but reinforcement is needed. So the schools must turn to home.
College students are still dependent on home, as most of them are still minors, and very few of them are financially independent. The disciplinary steps taken at school can only go so far, and so the parents must take a role in their childs higher education. Parents have the right to know what their child is doing, and to discipline that child as they see fit. Therefore, it is the duty of the school to inform the parents of their childs drug and alcohol problems and to allow the parents to take measures to rectify these problems.
The only way to do that is for the schools to be able to reach the parents and, sometimes over the protests of the students, directly tell them of their childs activities and the results of their crimes. The students have no right to protest, yet they do for many reasons, the main one being their mistaken notion of self-sufficiency. The protesting students feel that they are able to make such decisions for themselves and that any input their parents may have is an unwarranted intrusion to their personal affairs.
This is incorrect mainly because they are mostly still minors, and as such must abide by their parents rules. And, in any case, minors do not have the privilege to consume alcoholic beverages of any type, and must be punished by law enforcement officials if they do. And drinking affects the society as a whole by adding to the number of drunken drivers on the roads, making travel less safe for everyone. Also, a drunken student is not a successful one. Study after study has shown that drinking impairs mental function. Drinking is one choice they make very ill advisedly.
College is a time of learning, not only about academic fields, but also about ones self and ones society. Experimentation within limits is invaluable to future growth, but these limits must be maintained for the good of the individual as well as society as a whole. Besides, the learning process is hampered by the students death, and steps must be taken by the community as a whole to prevent this regrettable outcome.