Policies Make Usage More Dangerous

The college experi-ence is supposed to en-tail self-discovery and freedom. We students intend to find independence within the lecture halls and dorm rooms of the University; and an opportunity – in a manner – that many of us have never before expe-rienced – to make decisions for our-selves and to learn from our mistakes. These decisions should be ours alone. It is not the duty of the admin-istrative branches of this school to dic-tate for us the bounds of morality, or to go above and beyond the call of duty in enforcing state and federal laws. Yet with your drug and alcohol poli-cies, this is precisely the course of ac-tion that you, those in charge of The University of Vermont, have chosen to pursue. The recently adopted policies of the University violate the spirit of a college education, and may even be danger-ous and counterproductive. They have severed the bond of trust between the administration and the student body, and have changed the role of RAs from friends and advisors, to something clos-er to that of police officers. As adults, the responsibility to make decisions regarding what we do with ourselves and our bodies is ours, and ours alone. All of us here have lived long enough to have formed our own opinions, and generate our own ideas of what we should and should not do, and it is not your place tell us otherwise. The administration often cites the illegality of drug-taking and underage drinking as a reason for its enforce-ment policies. But it is the job of police officers, who have a rigid constitution by which they must abide, and who op-erate under the bounds of a carefully planned judicial system, to enforce these laws. The school has no obligation whatsoever to enforce the penal system or grant it greater liberties within the dorms, nor should it. In attempting to entirely stamp out drinking and – to put it bluntly – pot smoking, you force these activities be-hind closed doors, and in so doing, in-crease the incentive for and likelihood of more dangerous activities such as binge drinking. If we were to adopt an open-door policy towards the consumption of in-toxicants, then RAs, as well as the com-munity at large, would find themselves better equipped to recognize and deal with the problems that stems from abuse. This is not merely the complaint of a bitter student whose only cares re-volve around partying and neglecting the very real value that comes in attain-ing an education. This is a registration (by a bitter student) of worry and doubt about the future of this fine educational institution, because what is occurring here is a miscarriage of college educa-tion.