Is Western really a dry campus?

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When moving away from home and into college, almost every student hears the phrase “now don’t drink too much.”

In this current time, one third of universities around the country are what are labeled as “dry campuses,” basically disallowing any consumption or possession of alcohol on their respective college campuses.

This policy has been and always be subject to a mass debate.  A lot of people support this policy, but many other oppose it.

Chris Wood, a senior at Western, understands its intentions but doesn’t find the policy to be worth the hassle.

“I don’t think it’s that effective,” Wood said. “The more I go into students rooms, I see more and more alcohol.”

Wood continued to state that the only time there isn’t alcohol in students’ rooms is when the residential life assistants do a sweep on the rooms.

Even more debate and questioning of the policy has risen in the past few months because of the tailgating policy for football games and other events here at Western, that allow people to drink at these events for specific times.

“It’s kind of ironic that we allow it on other parts of the campus for certain events, but we don’t allow it at the dorms,” said Wood.

Fellow Western student, Nicole Gardner stated that the two policies are colliding with one another, create a rift.

“They say one thing and do another,” Gardner said. “They’ll let my friend drink at the tailgate, but I can’t drink in my room… okay, that makes sense.”

This isn’t a miscommunication between students and the administration, though. A lot of students understand the reasoning behind the policies, but they just question the results.

Wood realizes that the drinking at events can be safer because they are within a “controlled environment” but he still finds it to be a double standard.

Another problem that several students seem to have with the dry campus policy is that it seems to cause students to drive out to bars to get drinks, as opposed to drinking on campus.

Gardner stated that one third of car accidents happen within a mile and a half from your home and that she worries that when students have to drive off campus to drink, that could raise the risk of them running into drunk drivers.

“They’re trying to set a good image for themselves and the community but,  at the same time, they’re kind of kicking themselves in the butt,” Gardner said.

Wood believes that if the campus was a wet campus it would actually cut down on the risk of drunk driving because students would be able to drink with their friends on campus and then just walk back to their room.

On that subject, if a change ever did happen, it may not even change much.

“I don’t think anything would be different,” Wood said. “Maybe students would drink less because it would lose the luster of it being against the rules.”

It’s obvious that the university set the dry campus policy, as have many other schools, because they want the students to focus solely on their academics.

A strong debate in that is that alcohol may not be what distracts students, it may rely on the students themselves.

“If it’s not alcohol, something else is going to distract them,” Gardner said, believing that alcohol is just the placeholder for what would distract them from studies.

Wood also believes that any behavior a student may lay out is going to happen whether they have alcohol in their system or not.

“Ever since I’ve been on campus, I’ve seen a few fights, but they never involved alcohol,” Wood said. “I think we have more of a problem with stealing than we do with alcohol.

Something reputable to be said about all of this is that neither Wood nor Gardner are regular drinkers. Gardner didn’t even know Western was a dry campus until a few semesters after she enrolled at the university because drinking was never on her mind.

The dry campus policy is a popular one across this nation and comes with good intentions, but it’s results are seeming to be ineffective  and possibly even irrelevant amongst the student body.

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