DS View: Dry UND?

DRINKING: Alcohol consumption on campus continues regardless of UND being classified as a “dry campus.”

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Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and it doesn’t work today on college campuses.

We, The Dakota Student editorial board, believe the idea of a dry campus is a failed experiment.

UND has been a dry campus for decades — at least, on paper. Ask any student wandering University Avenue and they will more than likely give a different answer.

Every weekend, and often during the week as well, students partake in drinking all across UND. It’s no secret that UND has one of the highest binge drinking rates in the nation. The Grand Forks and campus police are constantly busy breaking up drunken fights and giving out minors as it is.

That leaves the question, are the no-drinking rules really working?

The idea that a ruling body can simply issue a proclamation demanding students cease drinking on campus is absurd.

Instead of allowing students to deal with the fact that alcohol is everywhere in today’s society, the ban has turned alcohol into the forbidden fruit — thereby encouraging students to sneak around with clinking backpacks on Saturday nights.

Some colleges and universities in the U.S. have realized the fallacy in their thinking. They have reversed their  alcohol bans and the student populations behave just like any other university in America. The only difference between wet campuses and UND is on paper, not in practice.

The university and local police have an insurmountable task to accomplish if they wish to adequately prevent alcohol consumption on campus.

Having a wet campus does not mean giving out free beer at UND events or encouraging alcohol consumption. It means giving students an environment where they can have open conversations about drinking and, more importantly, drinking responsibly. Too many students wake up disoriented and dehydrated only to find photos from a night they don’t remember on @UNDpassouts. A wet campus could allow for safe drinking environment, instead of sneaking around and partying in basements — which is what our current system encourages.

If students are of age, they should be able to drink on campus. Our current  alcohol rules encourage students to get intoxicated off-campus and then travel — sometimes by car — back to campus in an inebriated state.

It is better to allow students to learn about both the positives and negatives that come with adulthood and independence. Trying to shelter them from the existence of alcohol has no benefit to students or faculty, especially when alcohol prohibition rules are simply ignored.

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