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  1. #1 Colleges Mull Lowering Boozer Age To 18. 
    College presidents want drinking age lowered to 18

    BY JENNIFER MALONEY | jennifer.maloney@newsday.com
    August 19, 2008

    College presidents from more than 100 schools across the country are calling on lawmakers to do something about binge drinking: Consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18.

    "Twenty-one is not working," says the group's statement, signed by presidents from prominent colleges such as Dartmouth, Duke and Syracuse. "A culture of dangerous, clandestine 'binge drinking' - often conducted off-campus - has developed."

    No Long Island schools are on the list, which includes Manhattan College in Riverdale, Ohio State, Tufts in Massachusetts and Colgate in upstate Hamilton.

    Even before the presidents begin the public phase of their efforts, which might include newspaper ads in the coming weeks, they face sharp criticism.

    Mothers Against Drunk Driving says lowering the drinking age would lead to more fatal car crashes. It accuses the presidents of misrepresenting research and looking for an easy way out of an inconvenient problem, and urges parents to think carefully about safety at colleges whose presidents have signed on.

    "It's very clear the 21-year-old drinking age will not be enforced at those campuses," said Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of MADD.

    (snip)

    John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont who started the initiative, cited research by Alexander Wagenaar, a University of Florida epidemiologist. But Wagenaar himself sides with MADD in the debate.

    Some officials at local universities say lowering the drinking age would have little impact.

    "From the research studies that I've seen ... 50 percent of the students who are drinking have had their first drink before they're 17," said Jenny Hwang, associate dean and director for prevention and outreach at Stony Brook University. "So I don't know that changing the age from 21 to 18 would make much of a difference."

    Hofstra University spokeswoman Melissa Connolly said in a statement that there "doesn't now appear to be enough data to conclude that lowering the age would lead to less rather than more drinking."

    But a national discussion, she said, might lead to some constructive suggestions.
    So, what do you guys think about this? I couldn't afford to be a hopeless alcoholic in college. Do kids have that much more money now or what? Also, I didn't have the time for it - working, early classes, etc. So, what's different now or is it different?

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  2. #2  
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    I don't see the big deal. It was 18 when I was in college.
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  3. #3  
    Sonnabend
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    It's been 18 here for forty years. :D

    (Longer...)
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    So, what do you guys think about this? I couldn't afford to be a hopeless alcoholic in college. Do kids have that much more money now or what?
    Cheap beer.... Old Milwaukee's Best is cheaper than water.

    Also, I didn't have the time for it - working, early classes, etc. So, what's different now or is it different?
    You obviously didnt have your priorities straight ;)


    Just on general principle it seems quite silly that we are able to legislate away a perfectly legal adult's right to drink a certain kind of beverage. Either change the law so that 21 is the age of legal adulthood, or let people drink from 18 and up.

    It's a tired old point, but honestly its still worth repeating... we can send an 18 year old off to war, but we wont let one take a drink? Stupid.
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Cheap beer.... Old Milwaukee's Best is cheaper than water.



    You obviously didnt have your priorities straight ;)


    Just on general principle it seems quite silly that we are able to legislate away a perfectly legal adult's right to drink a certain kind of beverage. Either change the law so that 21 is the age of legal adulthood, or let people drink from 18 and up.

    It's a tired old point, but honestly its still worth repeating... we can send an 18 year old off to war, but we wont let one take a drink? Stupid.
    I agree that adults can do any legal activity but would a change make a difference in the drinking culture of schools? That's what I'm curious about.

    As a side note, I really didn't have parties as a priority in school but none of the other alpha geeks did either and we only cared about impressing each other. The most notorious boozers during undergrad (at my school, at least) were the education majors and the nurses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    So, what do you guys think about this? I couldn't afford to be a hopeless alcoholic in college. Do kids have that much more money now or what?
    You bought your own drinks?
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Just on general principle it seems quite silly that we are able to legislate away a perfectly legal adult's right to drink a certain kind of beverage. Either change the law so that 21 is the age of legal adulthood, or let people drink from 18 and up.
    Or that there are rules about how old you can be to have a certain job. I mean, that's beyond stupid, amirite?
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  8. #8  
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    I never had any problems getting hold of alcohol when I was in college and the drinking age was 21. Of course, the age had gone up only a few years before that, so they were not as efficient about enforcement as they appear to be these days.

    I'm always torn on this issue. I do think on one hand that if you are old enough to serve in the military, sign contracts, vote, and so on at 18, you should also be able to drink. On the other hand, I remember that after Michigan raised the age, drunk-driving fatalities decreased substantially.

    So, my overall opinion is that if you are a college student between the ages of 18-20 and you can't get hold of alcohol, you probably are not smart enough to be drinking anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    So, what do you guys think about this?
    18 is still too high.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I couldn't afford to be a hopeless alcoholic in college. Do kids have that much more money now or what?
    Really, really cheap/bad beer/liquor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Also, I didn't have the time for it - working, early classes, etc. So, what's different now or is it different?
    Classes. LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I don't see the big deal. It was 18 when I was in college.
    For me as well, although the voting age was 21.
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