College Student Alcohol Abuse Bill Criticized

A proposed bill in the Pennsylvania legislature would mandate counseling for first-time alcohol offenders, a year’s expulsion for second-time offenders, and permanent expulsion for three-time offenders.

College and university administrators expressed concern about a law eliminating their discretion in deciding punishments. An official at Pennsylvania State University explained that "As educators who are studying, researching and feeling the negative impact of dangerous drinking, we think we are in the best position to craft a response that best suit’s the circumstances our school faces."

The Dean of Students at Marywood University said “the real issue is that what they are proposing is somewhat draconian in nature.” He explains that under the proposed law, a student organizing an on-campus party with ten kegs and 100 people would receive the very same punishment as one caught sipping a drink in his room who drew attention by playing his music too loudly.

The vice-President for Student Affairs at Shippensburg University said the bill is a one-dimensional approach to addressing a complex problem He and the Millersville University Vice-President for Student Affairs say college officials are closer to the situation and know what punishment is appropriate.

The bill itself cites discredited statistics on campus drinking.

 

References:

  • Murphy, Jan. Colleges critical of alcohol abuse bill: Schools cite need for discretion in deciding discipline. Patriot-News, April 30, 2006.

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