Our View: Alcohol & Greeks

Apr 022007

The Inter-fraternity Council opted out of reexamining CSU’s dry house policy on Monday night. Members told the Collegian that keeping booze out of Greek houses has so far been beneficial.

We think not.

In fact, the dry house policy nearly killed a teenage girl in the now-empty Sigma Alpha Epsilon house.

Though most Greeks may publicly claim otherwise, booze still flows freely in the houses. The biggest difference between before and after the policy was enacted is that the subject of drinking is now a comfortably contrived taboo.

We could hardly condemn an occasional party or the responsible consumption of alcohol. And turning the Greeks into a culture of stand-up, clean-cut, say-no-to-drinking-and-drugs culture sounds wonderfully idealistic – and in a way, we believe that deserves applause. On the other hand, assuming the world is an idealistic place can be dangerous.

So let’s be realistic for a moment.

In any arena, the most steadfast stumble sometimes. Police officers speed occasionally – or worse. Stalwart churchgoers have premarital sex. Environmentalist hippies might take a road trip in a gas-guzzling, smog-belching van.

Now, imagine spending your college career in a “dry house,” where the inevitable college experimentation with drugs and alcohol is banned. It’s a safe bet that most of the students there don’t vehemently believe in an alcohol-free life.

So how did the dry house policy almost kill a girl in the SAE house?

By making drinking a taboo.

While the girl was passed-out and dying, those at the house were afraid of calling 911 because of the dry policy. They feared they would lose their charter. And they did.

Luckily, someone panicked and told an RA back in the residence halls whom, in turn, called 911.

Former state Rep. Angie Paccione, D-Fort Collins, sponsored and pushed a safe haven bill into law, which values young lives over retributive justice.

She and other legislators recognized – realistically – that in some situations, the fear of getting in trouble for underage drinking could overpower the rational decision to seek help for someone in danger.

CSU’s dry house policy flies in the face of realistic thought. We believe it is, at best, the wrong solution to a serious problem.

At worst, it is – and always was – just for show.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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