Students should suffer consequences for drinking

November 16, 2017 — by Howard Tang

Most second-semester seniors realize that a severe GPA drop or revelations of academic dishonesty are reasons that they may be rescinded from a college that has accepted them.

But another danger lurks. Being caught drinking alcohol during this “party-filled” end of high school could be the difference between going to Harvard and a community college.

If a student demonstrates a drastic change in conduct, such as having inappropriate online behavior, getting arrested or getting caught doing other illegal activities, they may be rescinded as well.

Many people feel that colleges punish students caught drinking on social media too harshly, especially since according to a national survey in 2014, almost 60 percent of college students ages 18-22 drank alcohol within the last month. To some, suffering such a huge punishment for such a common activity may seem unfair or just unlucky.

But while students may be unlucky for getting caught, they should still receive punishments of equal severity as they receive now — a rescinding of acceptance.

Even if the student is caught drinking for the first time, colleges should maintain the same consequences. If they let the student have a second chance or lessen the consequences, then others may try to reduce their own punishments by telling a similar story and feel that they have a valid excuse.

Colleges need to demonstrate that drinking on their campus or other types of misbehaviors are not OK. They need to show that the alcohol — the dangerous substance that leads to approximately 88,000 deaths a year, of which 2,000 are college students — is not to be tolerated and should not be used in parties or in any other circumstances. They can only do this by punishing all violators of their rules.

Although giving harsh punishments to short-time drinkers or only a few unlucky members of the enormous body of students who drink may seem unfair, colleges do not have a choice. If they lessen the punishments, then the beverage that has caused so much chaos in late-night parties, fraternity hazings and other events will destroy students’ lives even more than ever before.

 

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