This originally was a post describing my return to school and the end of my frivolous reading period, however in light of of the death of a 19 year old young man at a NS university this week my thoughts have been overtaken by this instead.
There’s been a lot of controversy over whether or not the universities should have more control over students and their drinking habits on campus. I personally disagree with this notion. Official university frosh events are dry events, as they would have to be since there are students that are only 18 hitting up these events and there is always a way around this if you’re really searching for one. I am aware that this is the first foray into independence for many of the first year students, & frosh week can certainly be an intimidating affair with thousands of strangers surrounding you I can see the appeal of alcohol being the easy ice breaker, however you are legally an adult when you enter college or university (usually) and there should have been education somewhere along the way before you got there. Whether it came from home and your concerned family or from school and their lame presentations that you don’t really listen to and then laugh it off with your friends later on, maybe while smoking a joint or doing shots. Problem is you think you’re invincible when you say goodbye to your parents for the first time, and hey everyone else is doing it too.It’s a rolling ball of problems, the individuals involved have to have some shred of responsibility as well and the blame cannot be shifted entirely to the university. There are choices, you can choose to go to an official dry frosh week event, you can choose to party with your new friends and don’t drink or you can choose to drink excessively and hope to all deities that you are lucky, plus a plethora of other choices mixed in there. The university can’t make your choices for you, same as they cannot make you go to class and do your work and actually learn what is being taught. If partying is what you want to do there is no amount of rules that are really going to stop you and whether you do it on campus or in the dark park somewhere else, the end results can be the same.
This young man obviously did not know his limit, or he never would have drank a 40 of hard liquor with very little mix (of course this is all 3rd party information) and whether or not the university would have had a ‘dry’ residence this would have happened anyway, maybe not to this particular person but to someone, & that person very well may not have had a fighting chance if he got himself lost somewhere on the way back to his residence. His peers found him unconscious and gave him the best fighting chance when they called an ambulance whereas if he passed out along a road hardly frequented he would have had no chance at all. Kudos to the students who found him and had enough sense to call for help rather than put him to bed to sleep it off, but I do wonder if there was anyone around who noticed it getting out of hand before he went unconscious, I’ve never lived in residence so it’s difficult for me to know how things happen there. I thought there were residence advisors to help prevent something like this? Perhaps that’s not actually what an RA is for though and I’ve been mistaken for years.
I urge everyone to learn your limits, there’s a difference to feeling good and going overboard and it doesn’t take much to go over that line. Keep an eye on your friends, and have someone do the same for you, there’s strength in numbers and your safety is better insured when everyone is aware of what’s going on around themselves. Yes, I am preaching the buddy system. Be safe now, not sorry in the morning, if you see trouble then call for help. A little embarrassment is worth a call made too late to save a life.
I’m also incredibly saddened by the reactions of the other students that were interviewed. It was almost joke for them, Oh he had a little too much to drink. That’s the understatement of the year. This is a human being with a family just like you, have some respect, it is not a joke and should not be taken lightly. It could happen to anyone, and if it was a friend or family member of yours I would imagine you would not be taking this so lightly. I would advise that there are always people listening whether you think so or not, and disrespectful comments should not spewed out without thought.
I wonder what your thought are on the situation.
That being said I’m sincerely sorry for the family of this young man, 19 years old is entirely too young to lose your life. He was just setting out and figuring out what to do with himself had probably not fully registered with him. Parents shouldn’t be burying their children, and my heart goes out to you.