Our Chicago mayor is up in arms over 100 college presidents who are trying to push for a younger legal drinking age. Presidents from colleges such as Ohio State and Dartmouth joined a nationwide campaign to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18.
Daley claims that presidents of these universities are only concerned with tuition rather than educating students once they are of the current legal age, which now stands at 21. But do these university presidents, such as, Stephen Schutt of Lake Forest College have a point that kids in college drink regardless of their age, and should be taught responsible drinking habits before turning to binge drinking by the time they are 21?
I tend to think that college students drink when and where they want to. Legal age doesn’t matter much on most campuses besides availability and the threat of being caught. But does allowing an 18 year old to drink at a bar really educate them on health risks and safety? I doubt it, but will it persuade a high school senior to make their college decision based on a university that has a 21 vs. 18 drinking age, sadly for a high number of kids, it will.
Colleges do little as it is to educate students on drinking once they turn 21, so would lowering the age change that? If a program is set in place, I can see the debate. Until then, let’s worry about the millions of people in their thirties and up who still need to learn how to drink responsibly.