ACU needs to change its alcohol policy so it does not affect students who are of legal drinking age.
The policy overzealously states: “In keeping with the educational mission of the university, alcohol abuse by ACU students is prohibited. Whereas the law allows students over the age of 21 to responsibly consume alcohol, ACU students, by their enrollment in the university, agree to suspend this right for the good of the entire university community.”
n a recent survey the Students’ Association conducted, an overwhelming 79 percent of students agreed or strongly agreed the university should allow students of legal drinking age to consume alcohol off campus. Only 11 percent thought the policy should remain the same.
Also, 76 percent of surveyed students said they believed students could be responsible with alcohol use.
Next Wednesday, the Students’ Association Congress will host an open forum for students to address administrators about current policies during their regular meeting time. President Matt Worthington charged each Congress member at the previous meeting to bring five students to the forum.
Overwhelming support from the student body would send a clear message to the administration, and any student with an opinion should voice it.
The current policy further unjustly constrains students by preventing students from attending events, such as concerts, at bars or establishments where alcoholic beverages are the main business.
This rule denies freedoms guaranteed by Texas law, as well as the freedom and call to discernment associated with Christ. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “Everything is permissible, but not everythingis beneficial.” Students who are 21 should learn to make decisions about alcohol on their own, without the university interfering.
The policy, additionally, unnecessarily infringes on the privacy of students and shows a lack of trust in students’ decision- making abilities.
Very few reported violations of the policy take place annually. Last year the ACU police made a total of four alcohol – related arrests; only one arrest involved an ACU student. Additionally, only 17 alcohol incidents violating the student guide were reported in the fall of 2006 and 17 in the spring of 2007.
Although common knowledge tells the average person some students drink illegally without authorities finding out, enforcing rules that infringe on the majority’s rights because of the minority’s actions displays unfair policies.
Banning alcohol on campus makes sense because minors, with few exceptions, live on campus, and it violates state and federal law for anyone under the age of 21 to drink or possess alcohol.
Also, the university’s policy still could enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding alcohol at all university events, such as social club functions and sporting events, even if the events take place off campus. But preventing students 21 and older from the purchase and consumption of alcohol infringes on their privacy.
The university needs to rewrite its alcohol policy so it does not affect off campus students of legal drinking age. If they abuse alcohol, local authorities exist to police such poor behavior, so ACU does not need to interfere.
The Bible does not prevent alcohol consumption, only drunkenness. The university should not attempt to burden students with more constraints than God does.