• It is amazing how any of the current problems we have on campus (including a lot of the sexual harassment problems) would be solved by a zero-tolerance policy for student use of alcohol.

    • Perhaps, but count me skeptical that a state university could legally adopt such a policy.

  • Or, we could teach personal responsibility, rather than attempting to excuse away our socially unacceptable behaviors as if we are never at fault for our failings…

  • Mark–
    On the contrary, it is America’s binge-and-ban drinking culture that sets us up for for so many drinking problems. European countries do not have 21-year drinking ages; instead children are gradually introduced to drinking in the company of their parents and other responsible adults.

    I agree with you that unsupervised college parties (including fraternities) are a terrible place to learn about drinking, but a better alternative needs to be offered. For decades I have argued for a system of “junior drinking licences” for ages 18-20, where new drinkers can be entrusted with increasing rights as they show their continuing fitness.

    • Heh. Maybe a Lite Beer license to start.

    • Ring, Ring, The United Kingdom is calling and would like to have a word about your generalization:


      Now if you don’t think of England as part of Europe your point probably has more merit.

      • “Now if you don’t think of England as part of Europe your point probably has more merit.”

        The continent or the pseudo nation known as the European Union?

        I have heard people from Europe argue that the UK is not part of the continent of Europe.

    • In 2014 the World Health Organization released a report on alcohol. Part of the report deals with consumption per person, binge drinking, and alcoholism.

      When compared with other countries in Europe, the US falls into the bottom half of rankings when it comes to consumption and binge drinking. For alcoholism, the US is in the bottom third when compared to European states.


      I am not sure that if I wanted to point to successful drinking laws and cultures that I would point to Europe.

  • I don’t agree with the “junior drinking license” bit, but other than that I agree with you Hugo.
    From the time I was 15 on there was beer in the fridge, with a few simple rules.
    1) Not on a school night.
    2) If you have 1 you are in the house for the night.
    3) Don’t get falling down drunk.
    4) Help pay for the beer.

    I went into the Navy right out of high school. I knew my limitations and I was usually the guy who made sure that others got back to the base or ship, including more than a few officers.

    • Sounds like you had a de facto “junior drinking license” with your household authorities.

  • When I was in College, the drinking age was still 18 in most of the country.
    Yes, there was some irresponsible drinking – but since nearly all the students could legally drink at the school’s Rathskeller, or out in town, there was far more conventional social drinking rather than the binge drinking you get when more than half the students have to avoid getting caught in the act.

  • So is the university’s 0 tolerance policy supposed to extend off campus? I don’t think a 0 tolerance policy has made anything much better. Are they gonna ban cough syrup? Mouthwash? Where does the 0 tolerance policy draw the line? Even killing another human being doesn’t have a 0 tolerance policy, after all, there is self defense… It’s just another way for administrators to demonstrate how lacking in common sense they are. 0 tolerance on it’s face should be known to be a bad idea because there is usually a corner case somewhere that will be wrongly decided. Try instead maybe limited tolerance…

  • A lot of current problems on campus would be solved by adopting a zero-tolerance policy for
    1. People blaming everyone but themselves for problems they cause voluntarily