Underage drinking – who is to blame?

By on November 2, 2005

How is it that the university reprimands underage students for going off campus and getting “wasted” when they are the ones providing the shuttles to New Haven?

Every Friday and Saturday night underclassman pack onto Quinnipiac University shuttle buses, also known as “the drunk bus” to go clubbing in New Haven. Almost all of these students are under the age of 21, yet they are allowed to go even when we all know clubs are 21+ on Saturday nights. Why does the bus continue to run when the only way for these students to get into the club is with a fake ID?

The university is promoting underage drinking by even allowing underclassman to take these shuttles; where else would they be going? Guys with their popped collars, girls trying to wear as little as possible, they are going to drink, and the funny part is that some of them don’t even look like they graduated high school yet.

The fact that freshman and sophomores are forced to live off campus because of housing issues is another cause to the ongoing drinking problem. By being off campus it gives them more of an opportunity to attend senior parties and get a hold of alcohol. These students have no supervision by university officials.

You would think that since they are 18, 19, 20 years old, they should be responsible enough to live on their own with no RA’s watching over them. However, the fact that so many students are caught off campus while drinking underage is just proof that these students need to be on campus where their actions can be monitored.

I don’t think that seniors should be exempt from the rules, but the fact is that the majority of us are 21, we can go out to the bars and drink, we can throw a party at our houses as long as we are not causing a disturbance, but once that line is crossed we are just as punishable as anyone under 21.

I’m not saying that students should not be allowed off-campus on weekends, how can you stop them? Any student who is not a freshman has the ability to have their car on campus, but it is under their own discretion where they end up on a Saturday night.

Having a Quinnipiac shuttle bus that provides transportation to and from the clubs is just giving these students a reason to go. It is giving them the idea that it is ok for them to use a fake ID to get into a club and drink, because they know the shuttle will take them back to campus, no questions asked.

How can a university promote underage drinking like this? Of course I know as well as anyone else that we all drank on campus before we were of legal age, but we were on campus. If there is a problem RAs, security, and university officials are always around.

When students go off campus who is responsible for them? If something happens to student who is not 21, who went off-campus to drink, is it the school’s responsibility? It should be! How else did they get there? They took the Quinnipiac University shuttle bus, which holds Quinnipiac responsible for bringing underage students to the clubs to begin with.

They are not asked for ID when they board the shuttle, they don’t need to show any proof of age, and they just get on and wait for the fun to begin. Well it’s not fun when they get hurt, or have to go to the hospital for alcohol poisoning and there’s no one to blame but themselves. However it’s the parents that should be complaining that their underage children are practically granted permission to the clubs by a bus that runs to and from campus just about every 40 minutes.

The only way to stop a problem is to find out where it started. This problem started by letting underage students on a bus to go to clubs where they cannot get in. Adding to the problem is letting non-seniors live off campus in property not owned by the university. What is stopping them from obtaining alcohol and drinking till they can’t see anymore?

It’s sad to see that students actually are too immature and irresponsible to deserve to live out of the dorms and be able to go to a city where there is more than just the clubs that line every block. They choose their own actions and they write their own fate. Who’s going to stop them?


About Ellen Schwartz