December 5, 2020

Classic Signals: Alcohol Sanctions

Every week, Features Editor Lily Firth hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

Alcohol and other drugs are a point of contention on college campuses, as college is a notorious time for young people to engage in alcohol and drug use at parties. Today, the College handles students who are caught drinking underage with help from Campus Police, the Alcohol & Drug Education Program and the Office of Student Conduct. In 1988, the College passed a strict underage drinking discipline policy that outraged students.

Alcohol policies remain controversial on college campuses. (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archive)

The College’s new alcohol sanctions have left many students residing on campus feeling angry.

The new policy, which was issued by the Office of Residence Life, states that students who commit two violations of the alcohol policy will be forced to move out of the residence halls.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said Mary Huder, a junior elementary education major who now lives off campus. “The college is saying that if you’re written up for alcohol more than once, you’ll get kicked off campus. If I was still living in Wolfe, I wouldn’t last a week!”

Many students feel that college is a time for making their own decisions, and these new sanctions are a violation of their rights.

Lisa Nemeth, a junior currently residing in Wolfe Hall, said, “A person has a right to drink, as long as they’re not hurting anybody. After all, it’s their body.”

The law states that a person must be 21 years old before he can purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. But college students are notorious for breaking this law, and many feel that the College is being too strict. Pam Degenaars, a junior communications major, said, I put in for lottery this year and I didn’t get housing. Now I’m thankful that I didn’t.”

But it is more than the new policy that students are upset about, it is the way the administration tried to keep them from finding out about it. Although community advisors were informed, they were told not to tell everyone on their floor.

Lorrie Willbergh, a junior special education major, said, “Students have a right to know what the rules are.”

Some feel that the way the administration tried to restrict access to the information is a reflection on the College’s lack of faith in the new sanctions.

“They must think something is wrong with it, or why would they cover it up?” said Sue Fitzer, a junior nursing major currently living on campus.

“Besides, we are paying to go here, so why are they hiding the rules from us? It’s unfair.” Of all the students interviewed, none supported the new alcohol policy on campus. They feel angry and misled by the College, and some feel that it is their answer to the housing problem.


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