The case for a “wet” campus

On nearly every college campus, there is one common issue that tends to emerge: the consumption of alcohol, specifically in campus housing.
East Stroudsburg University, a fellow school in the PASSHE school system, is taking a proactive approach in confronting this issue: they are now allowing all students above the age of 21 to have a “moderate” amount of alcohol in their room or dorm.
Although it may sound like an ideal situation to come back to your room or apartment and drink after a long day on campus or a long shift, this idea certainly has its downsides.
For many students, this is the most stressful their lives have ever been. New housing arrangements, new friends, hard classes, long shifts and possibly a weak support system can all contribute to creating a stressful environment.
Some students may turn to drinking to deal with the stresses of everyday life, however, binge drinking can quickly become an unhealthy habit that contributes to other health issues down the line.
On one hand, if the university were to support the idea of a “wet” campus some might view them as enabling the possibility of binge drinking.
On the other hand, they could potentially combat this possible outcome by publicizing it as a safer alternative to venturing into town late at night in search of a drink.
We have seen time and time again what transpires when students go out into town looking for a “fun time”; they either end up in a basement, at a bar or wandering around town looking for a place that’s partying.
Bars are a better alternative for those who are 21 years or older, but they can become expensive quickly. House parties are typically in dark, dirty, urine and beer smelling basements. Even worse, they’re always packed.
This becomes not only uncomfortable but a safety hazard, for if there were to be a fire it would be nearly impossible to get out.
Along with the expense, there is also an element of danger involved when that many people are packed into such a small space.
If wandering through town is the last chance of a good night out, students may stumble upon a possible deadly situation. The first two weeks of Bloomsburg’s fall semester entertained two separate gun-related crimes occurring downtown.
If administration would change the policy concerning drinking, perhaps students would be safer. With this, the university would be able to play a more affluent role. University administration would have a say in where and when students can drink alcohol. For instance, Bloomsburg’s notorious “Block Party Weekend” could potentially be a safer event.
Administration could throw an alternative, drinking-friendly concert on the intramural fields of upper campus instead of having the party on Fetterman. With campus police in attendance at the University proctored event, this could be a safer, more fun possibility.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. Ultimately, it is up to the of-age students of Bloomsburg to treat the idea of a wet campus as a privilege.
Here at “The Voice,” we think it would be a productive venture for Bloomsburg University’s administration to strongly look at East Stroudsburg University as they begin to implement this new policy.
If it manages to make a positive impact in their campus community, perhaps a similar policy could be implemented here sometime in the future.