The Wrong Message Can Kill

To the Editor: Two o’clock rolls around on an early Saturday morning and a sophomore girl finds her friend absolutely wasted, lying half on his couch and half on the floor. After repeated attempts to wake him, she realizes that her attempts are merely futile because he was drunk to the point that he would later blow a .32 blood alcohol concentration level. In a helpless state, she decides to get one of his friends from down the hall. Together, they decide to call an ambulance because it is obvious that their friend needs immediate medical attention. A week then goes by since his temporary hospital visit and the boy finds a letter from the Office of Judicial Affairs in his mailbox. Upon opening it, he learns that he has charges brought against him for violating alcohol policies. A campus police officer had accompanied the ambulance to the hospital and the officer reported back to the office of judicial affairs. What message is the university trying to send to friends of blacked-out students? If your friend needs help, maybe you should use some mom and pop remedies instead of getting him the proper medical attention, just to save him from the wrath of judicial affairs. Next time my friend can’t wake up from drinking, I’ll just force feed him some black coffee with a hardy portion of carbohydrates and hold him up in a cold shower as he quickly regains sobriety. The dictatorship has gone too far. In truth, as much as we, the underage consumers, loath the alcohol policies, the law still states that you must be twenty-one. Every time an underage drinker consumes alcohol, he/she knows the law and must face the possible consequences. But this policy could help to kill a student. The next time a student finds him or herself in a situation in which he/she must decide what to do with an unconscious or blacked-out friend, he/she will question whether or not to take the friend to a hospital. Even if students eventually bring their friends to the hospital, the fact of the matter is that they were skeptical of their decision on such an unquestionable matter. Students are left questioning their decisions which affect the health of human lives because of an imminent fear of the school’s judicial board. There is something very wrong with this picture. I am in no way saying that the school should just say to the hell with the law and let underage drinkers frolic around drunkenly, but in such a dangerous situation, there must be a better way to handle this situation. Underage drinking is against the law. Its rules must be enforced. But reality must also figure into the decision process. The average student does not go out and plan to drink until he/she is blacked-out. But sometimes, mistakes happen and this must be realized, because mistakes are reality. In the school’s ideal world, no one would drink, but the school must be more realistic with its approach because its blatant turning of the cheek to reality could cost someone’s life. A possible solution could be for people to have to perform community service hours rather than to be slammed by judicial sanctions. This way, the community would get some help and no student would ever question friends’ health over community service hours. Either way, a change needs to happen.Jess ToochinClass of 2005