Lower The Drinking Age If You Want To Solve The Fraternity Drinking Problem

Lower The Drinking Age If You Want To Solve The Fraternity Drinking Problem

Lowering the drinking age would make fraternities -- and college (and high school) drinking as a whole -- much safer.

This past week, Ohio State University suspended all non-essential activities for social fraternities--including social activities and recruitment--at least until January 7th. This is just a further example of a much broader trend across the country of big-name universities suspending or outright ending Greek life.

The universities involved include Florida State, Michigan, and now Ohio State. Following the much-publicized Atlantic article about the death of a pledge due to hazing, Penn State has also instituted vast reforms to their Greek life. The Boston Globe even ran an op-ed calling for the end of fraternities as a whole.

While I share many of the concerns about Greek life on college campuses, namely dangerous binge drinking, potentially harmful hazing processes, rape culture, and a dangerous lack of administrative oversight, I also know that many chapters of Greek Life are great sources of friendship and meaningful relationships, as well as having genuine philanthropic goals.

The solution to the problems that arise in conjunction with Greek life is, then, not to ban them but to lower the drinking age.

At first, this might sound counterproductive: How will legalizing alcohol help with binge drinking and other dangerous events which often occur while people are under the influence?

Young people under the age of 21 are going to drink regardless of whether or not it is legal; to think otherwise is to be entirely and absurdly ignorant. If the drinking age were lowered, however, there would be less chance of young people choosing not to get help for themselves or their friends if too much drinking occurred, for fear of punishment.

Meanwhile, there could also be more regulation and oversight by the university, hopefully preventing against hazing and other dangerous practices because fraternities would not have to worry about possible repercussions related to alcohol.

It is time to set aside the utterly absurd drinking age of 21 (which serves no real purpose anyway, given the vast number of young people who drink--and drink a lot--before they are 21) and move forward with a safer fraternity life for everyone.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The Impact Of Technology On The Younger Generation

What effect will growing up in an “age of technology” have on the younger generation?

By now, everyone knows what a prominent role technology plays in our society. It is nearly impossible to go a day without hearing something about technology on the news in some form, whether it is good or bad. Usually, these stories focus on the effect that it has on teenagers, since they are the group that is most heavily involved with using it; however, now, more than ever, kids and pre-teens are beginning to use technology just as much as teenagers and adults do. Unlike teenagers and adults, though, the younger generation has been raised with this constant influx of technology around them— they practically do not know life without it. What does this mean for them? What kind of impact will this have on them, both now and in the future? Overall, will this have a positive or negative effect on how they grow up?

In a way, growing up in an “age of technology” is a double-edged sword. While it has an abundance of advantages, it has just as many, if not more, disadvantages.

First, the advantages. The use of technology from a very young age helps in schools, due to the fact that it helps students want to learn, as well as makes it possible for each student to learn at their own pace. Additionally, it allows learning to become more interactive than it has ever been before. Kids essentially have the world readily available at their fingertips— if they want to know something they can look it up on the Internet and in just a few seconds have an answer.

Then, for the disadvantages, which many argue are much stronger than the advantages. Growing up with technology continuously around them, kids have a greater chance of becoming dependent on it, and become overly used to relying on it for everything. Among other effects, this can have a serious impact on their social skills. If kids and pre-teens communicate primarily through texting, social media, etc., from a young age, it is all they will know, and, as they get older, they will not be able to interact with others the same way they would if they were behind the screen of a device.

Kids are also more likely to follow what they see. For example, if they see their older sibling or parent constantly on their phone or laptop, they will do the same. Most kids today would rather stay inside and watch television or play video games then go outside to play. If they learn these habits now, it will be incredibly hard for them to break out of them. This will only lead to future generations becoming more and more introverted and technology obsessed in the years to come.

The bottom line is that having kids and pre-teens grow up in a world that is so influenced by technology has both good and bad effects on them. There is nothing wrong with their use of it, as long as it is balanced with them doing activities that kids should be doing, like going outside and playing catch or jumprope, or reading a book. There is no escaping technology— society just needs to learn how to use it in a way that is more beneficial than it is harmful.

Cover Image Credit: Ralph Nader Radio Hour

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.


As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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