The goose steppers cometh

Ted Hamilton

There is nothing like living in Kent State’s residence halls: The washer and dryer are right down the hall, the halls and bathrooms are cleaned regularly, and you get to hang out with your friends while avoiding the watchful eye of your parents.

Oh, and if you are under the age of 21 and get caught drinking, you get dragged down the hall as the Alcohol Nazis stand ready to throw you in the gulag.

I jest of course, but, in all honesty, I was a bit taken back by KSU’s new policy toward underage drinking. It was not long ago that I was sneaking cases of beer into Verder Hall myself, filling the book bag up with little 12-oz. cans of happiness and walking past security while sweat dripped down my back at the fear of getting caught.

Now, the safety of the dorms are gone. A first degree misdemeanor can cost students a couple hundred dollars and time spent in alcohol awareness classes they will never get back. Instead of dealing with underage drinking “in house,” students are subject to having the Kent State Police arrive after security – and for what?

Someone who is old enough to die in a war should surely be allowed the right to make an intoxicated ass of his or her self. Alas, the university has decided to crack down on drinking because of a 22 percent increase in alcohol violations.

What that tells me is the university is more worried about stopping underage drinking than limiting the robberies, assaults or rapes that have the potential to happen while the police are writing citations for a crummy underage. When the police are busy dealing with underage drinkers, they are not patrolling campus and are not protecting us.

Maybe the question that should be asked is, “Who does underage drinking really hurt?” It is yet another victimless crime that we are supposed to follow – much like lemmings off of the cliff.

Is it really that intolerable to have acne-ridden teens guzzling beers in the safety of their own dorm? They do, in fact, pay thousands of dollars to live in their “luxury cell.”

Even so, a little policy like this is not going to curb the number of underage drinkers very much, if at all. What it will help accomplish is give the college the highest number of students with first degree misdemeanors. Maybe they should put that on their pamphlets: “Kent State. Imagine – yourself with a misdemeanor.” Sure, it is not too catchy, but it rings true.

First they started sending letters home to parents, now they call the police – I wonder what the next step is to curb drinking. Electroshock therapy, thumbscrews or maybe being forced to listen to Barbara Streisand albums for three straight days?

Personally, I hope they use aversion therapy and give the little underagers booze until they puke all over their Hollister shirts.

I would sign up for that one.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].