Age shouldn’t be a factor; no discriminating

Erica Weisburn

Let me take this time to vent on behalf of all Kent State students under the age of 21. I know, life sucks.

It seems the notorious countdown will never end. You’re long awaiting your first legal sip of adulthood. Frankly, the anticipation of going out, getting plowed, and acting obnoxious like the rest of your intoxicated friends overwhelms you. Not only can you not legally get drunk, but apparently you can’t share in the enjoyment of watching your friends fall down steps, or hit on fat women either. At least, not at most Kent bars.

Trust me, I know. It’s “Thirsty Thursday;” all of your friends are over 21, and they obviously want to go out. This is about the time when your age hikes its leg, and gives you a swift kick to the face. Ouch.

Sure, you may think you can beat the system. You’ve probably said things like, “They won’t card,” or “They will just X my hands, right?” Wrong. Most places around Kent won’t take a second look at you if you haven’t had your “special” birthday.

Ray’s Place and The Loft, for instance, turn minors away after 9 p.m. Think that’s rough? Glory Days Water Street Tavern is even stricter. They have an age requirement of 21, day or night. I guess I can forget about seeing the inside of that place for at least a few more months.

Can someone please explain this to me? Why the extra rules? Minors already can’t buy overpriced beers at your bars, so why not at least charge us outrageous cover-charges? I would even gladly sport a tacky wrist band, or endure ink poisoning from a 5-inch thick Sharpie. I welcome permanent marker stains with open arms.

I’m a 20-year-old Kent State junior. I put in my hours in class; I suffer through the same everyday nonsense any other Kent Stater has to deal with. So why am I, and countless others, discriminated against because of my age? That’s right, I said discriminated.

My request is small. I don’t expect the National Minimum Drinking Age Act to be revoked, even though I wouldn’t complain if it was. All I am asking is for the opportunity to experience the enjoyment of sipping a soda in a bar.

Watching your intoxicated friends say things that will set them back at least three semesters is what college students live for. Drunken nights create memories that only the people who love you the most will never let you live down.

In the fall, I will be a 20-year-old senior getting ready to walk out the door. I can fight wars for my country, I can get a college degree in any field, but I can’t step a foot into Glory Days. That seems fair.

My fellow minors, we need to stick together. Stand up for your right to spend the evening with your friends in any business you choose. When you get turned away from a bar, speak with the manager or owner. Who knows, if enough of us say something, policies might get changed.

Erica Weisburn is a junior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].