A Break-Up Letter To My Dry Campus Policy

A Break-Up Letter To My Dry Campus Policy

I think it's time we see other people.
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Historically speaking, prohibition of just about everything has failed in one way or another. More specifically, look at the 10 years that prohibition on alcohol lasted. During that time the only thing that changed wasn't the amount of alcohol consumed and produced, but instead the number of people consuming alcohol legally. Now, I know what you're thinking, how can something which happened nearly 100 years ago be relevant? Well, if that is your logic, then we are already on the same page. The idea of a dry campus is dangerous and doesn't promote sobriety among its students. Actually, it has the opposite intended effect. If we believe the research, two in five students “binge drink” and as many as 1,400 die each year of alcohol-related causes, mostly drunk driving (background on alcohol abuse.) If the bathrooms on campus weren't a dead giveaway to the alcohol consumption on this campus, then trash is. Firsthand, I've seen bathrooms with their floors covered in urine, and vomit, sometimes blood. What's worse is that more often than not, the janitors are left to pick up all the trash from the broken things across campus, Facilities-Operations (fac-ops) comes and fixes what's broken, the students get billed, and the cycle begins anew the next weekend. Every time the trash is taken out it sounds like sleigh bells with the mass amounts of glass bottles in the trash. The campus has found that incidents involving students breaking or damaging campus property can very easily be traced to alcohol.

Ignorance is bliss until it becomes part of your tuition bill.

My sophomore year, I witnessed first hand the effect alcohol had on the campus. I was 21 before I even came to school here since I am a transfer student. I have never had to drink illegally while I've been a student here at Norwich. As a student here, it scares me to see people getting into situations where they could potentially hurt themselves-or worse-other people around them. The pub on campus provides legal drinks at a cost which many students can't afford to take advantage of, so the logical choice is to bypass that and enjoy some nice beverages purchased at any one of the various outlets selling alcohol within walking distance of campus. It is simply time to start taking action to make smarter policies to protect the students and the school. What this means is looking out for your friends. Always keep perspective.

How much is too much?

I can say this about the policy. When you say no to people in college there will always be a way around your rules. Students will find loopholes, or find people who are willing to look the other way. It simply does not work and it is time for Norwich to join other campuses in an effort to combat the rampant alcoholism and destruction of school property by letting people do what they should be able to do on their own free time. I cannot produce an exact figure, but I can definitely speculate that amount of money spent on security and campus repairs add up rather quickly. Just last semester, there were not one, but two instances where the vending machine in my building was broken into, and had all the snacks stolen out of it. It's disappointing to see. You may ask where I'm going with this, but I promise I'll tie all of this together nice and neat so people can see just how crazy it is to keep things the way they are. As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting there to be different results. Why is the dated alcohol policy one of those things? Why has this been the chosen method, why don't students have a say? Well, the answer is actually simple. It has to do with the poor behavior alcohol causes on campus. Between the damages to glass in civilian buildings, numerous reports of sexual assault and/or harassment, even the fact that plexiglass had to be installed on the TV's in various parts of campus, these are all things you can thank the people who ruin things for everyone. They are the reason that the dry campus seems justifiable. Until people can help those folks on campus keep their act together, we won't see any progress. If this campus can't work "without alcohol" how do we expect leadership to allow us to even have a say as to whether or not it should be a dry campus. So, let's say you're one of the many people who's reading this and you stop and think, that doesn't sound like me at all, I don't break things, I do not drink in excess, and I am aware of my tolerance and limits encourage more people to do the same!

How can we break the cycle?

I am not saying that the intentions are in the wrong place when it comes to alcohol policy at Norwich University; however, a good long look at revision and analysis of current results is long overdue. It has gotten so bad that alcohol abuse has lead to our vending machines being broken into and stolen from so much that they were removed campus-wide. It's ridiculous, we are a college, as adults, we shouldn't be leaving a trail of destruction in our wake, it costs all of us, even the responsible people on campus a lot of money. The big issue is the violation of the alcohol policy, where students are expected to hold each other accountable and tell superiors if they suspect there has been a violation of this policy. This is a major cause of stress for many students, and on more than one occasion has lead to the dismissal of students from this University. I do not believe this approach works. We are not creating a culture of integrity, we are making a laundry list of stress, gripes and complaints from students ranging from having the moral and ethical dilemma of ratting out your friends, or risking getting suspended from the university over some beers. In some cases, VAPs can be used as blackmail. The double standard of only some people getting caught for drinking, and others not, creates a culture of either dishonesty, or enables people to blackmail others.


Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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To That One Friend Who Deserves The World

Since I can't give you the world, I hope giving you this article is enough.
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My wonderful friend,

You deserve love.

You deserve to marry your best friend.

You deserve appreciation.

You deserve that no matter who comes in and out of your life, every selfless thing you do for someone is acknowledged.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You deserve kindness.

You deserve to have the nicest people in the world surround you all of the time.

You deserve support.

You deserve to have someone there for you at the beginning of every good day and at the end of every bad one, to have someone who wants to fix all of your problems.

You deserve hope.

You deserve to always be optimistic.

You deserve laughter.

You deserve to never stop smiling and actually mean it every time you do.

You deserve forgiveness.

You deserve to be able to be given second chances because without a doubt you are worth it.

You deserve friendship.

You deserve to have a friend who can be just as good of a friend as you are.

You deserve honesty.

You deserve to always be told the truth.

You deserve motivation.

You deserve to never want to give up and always push yourself.

You deserve success.

You deserve to have everything you have worked so hard for.

You deserve faith.

You deserve to always know it will get better.

You deserve loyalty.

You deserve to have that one person who will never leave and always be there for you.

You deserve happiness.

You deserve to be genuinely content with your life.

You deserve the world.

If I could give it to you, I would.

Yes, life gets tough sometimes. The unthinkable happens and your world feels like it is crashing down but you can get past all of this.

Thank you for being so selfless. It amazes me how you do it sometimes, but thank you for always making everyone your main priority when they need you.

I know I may not say it enough, but truly thank you for all you do for me. I don’t always know how to show how much someone means to me, especially when it is someone as great as you because I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but thank you.

I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Liz Spence

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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