College presidents from 100 institutions have signed on to an initiative urging lawmakers to lower the legal drinking age from 21 to 18, arguing that the higher drinking age leads to surreptitious binge drinking on campus, the AP reports.
I don’t see any Arkansas colleges on the list of signatories, but nearby Rhodes College in Memphis is represented:
The statement the presidents have signed avoids calling explicitly for a younger drinking age. Rather, it seeks “an informed and dispassionate debate” over the issue and the federal highway law that made 21 the de facto national drinking age by denying money to any state that bucks the trend.
But the statement makes clear the signers think the current law isn’t working, citing a “culture of dangerous, clandestine binge-drinking,” and noting that while adults under 21 can vote and enlist in the military, they “are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.” Furthermore, “by choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.”
“I’m not sure where the dialogue will lead, but it’s an important topic to American families and it deserves a straightforward dialogue,” said William Trout, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., who has signed the statement.
Say, could this be just the thing that University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin needs to rebuild his shattered popularity in the wake of last month’s secret bonus scandal? Quick, get Hardin’s signature on that list!
P.S. Any inferred relationship between this post and Greenberg’s “Is College a Waste of Time?” rumination below is strictly coincidental.