Quinnipiac administrators: wake up and smell the beer

By on March 28, 2002

When visitors come to Quinnipiac, they marvel at how perfect it is. Perfect lawns, perfect buildings and a perfect staff. But a closer look at some of the university’s policies leave heads shaking and students very frustrated.
All over the United States, college students have been protesting their institutions’ alcohol policies. Quinnipiac is no exception, especially this past year after a more strict set of regulations passed on alcohol.
I can remember sitting on my couch in room 169 in the Commons during my freshman year, drinking a few glasses of wine or beer, having some good times with my friends and then going to bed. That’s it. No jumping off balconies or throwing up for two days.
My sophomore year, I remember standing outside my room in the Village during May Weekend holding a mixture of rum and orange juice. There were no brawls or drunken orgies.
But that year, some guy decided to fall off a balcony in one of the dorms and landed on his face. It was purely an accident from what I have heard, but because of that and a collaboration of drunken freshmen, May Weekend was almost cancelled the next year. And the passing of tighter alcohol policies was put in motion.
I would think this is not a new concept, but just in case, I would like the administrators to pay attention. College students drink! So do you, but when you go home at night, there is nobody there to fine you or tell you to attend substance abuse classes for drinking a few beers.
This new, more strict policy, is not teaching students not to drink, but it is teaching students to go off campus to drink. And how else are they going to get off campus, but in a car?
Quinnipiac has experienced the death of two students in a short period of time, something that is very uncommon for a university of Quinnipiac’s size.
Steven Pawlowski was killed after being struck by a car crossing Whitney Avenue to get to a sports bar. He was turned away from a Delta party for being underage, but who got blamed for that? Delta.
They were disaffiliated a few months later after they refused to let an underage student get bombed at their residence.
It is still unclear whether alcohol was involved in the crash that killed junior Jessica Gambon a few months ago. But the car was traveling at excessive speeds along a road that is known for sharp turns. There have been rumors, partially confirmed by police and students, that there is a good chance alcohol was a factor.
This is not a plea for Quinnipiac to promote drinking because that would be irresponsible. But it is also irresponsible to be unrealistic about college age drinking.
The strict punishments and fines are driving students off campus to drink. Even students who are over 21-years-old and live on campus are not allowed to drink in their rooms unless everyone in the room is also over 21 and the limit is a six pack of beer. What if there are seven people?
All the students are asking is for Quinnipiac to be realistic about the drinking policies. Instead of asking for abstinence among the under 21 crowd, administration should create limits. Drinking will happen no matter what you try to do to stop it. By being realistic about college age drinking you are not advocating it, you are asking students to be responsible. Instead of spending money on performers or guests no one wants, spend money on protocols that would assist student life, such as EMT certified security guards and a weekend on-call doctor.
We, as students, understand that Quinnipiac can be sued by an overzealous parent of a student who drank too much. But how many more students have to die before you start letting up?


About Sarah Netter- Editor-in-Chief