Author Topic: The Amethyst Initiative  (Read 12972 times)

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Offline fajwat

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The Amethyst Initiative
« on: August 19, 2008, 12:38:56 PM »
http://www.amethystinitiative.org/statement/

The Chancellor of UMD and the President of UMCP are signatories, as are many other college and university presidents  including Clarkson and Johns Hopkins.

I'm all for it.  UMCP used to serve beer in the dining halls.  I heard it was a fucking awesome time to be alive.

Also, and I think Reggie will agree with me on this point, states rights, motherfuckers.

Quote
Statement
It’s time to rethink the drinking age

In 1984 Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which imposed a penalty of 10% of a state's federal highway appropriation on any state setting its drinking age lower than 21.

Twenty-four years later, our experience as college and university presidents convinces us that…
Twenty-one is not working

A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed.

Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.

Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.

By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.
How many times must we relearn the lessons of prohibition?

We call upon our elected officials:

To support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21 year-old drinking age.

To consider whether the 10% highway fund “incentive” encourages or inhibits that debate.

To invite new ideas about the best ways to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol.

We pledge ourselves and our institutions to playing a vigorous, constructive role as these critical discussions unfold.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 12:43:17 PM »
I'm just gonna copy my post from the thread in SA's D&D forum thread about it.

This would have a huge impact on changing campus climates. My current campus has garnered a reputation for being a party school pretty much solely on the merit that the bars allow patrons in if they're 19... even while the legal drinking age is still 21. It's a form of looking the other way. To change this would change the clientele of the university.

Granted, the first few years of this proposal would be a little rough. But eventually, alcohol education programs could stop dancing around the issue of knowing underage students drink and get resources to students who need them, instead of people avoiding them because they think they'll get in trouble if they admit to underage drinking.

Offline saintangelsin

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 04:47:18 PM »
I can see why it's needed. I'm so sick of all the little drunk 18 year old girls running around. Whenever I go out to the bars in College Park (which is a super rare thing actually), I still end up meeting more underage kids than I do anyone who is at least 21. But I'll admit, I'm quite surprised that Dr. Mote would sign such a petition.

By the way, when on earth did they ever serve beer in the dining halls? This obviously was way before my time, because nobody has ever even mentioned this piece of history and I've been going to UMCP for almost 4 years now. Oh and by the way, apparently, I can't use my meal plan points towards beer or wine at Adele's (on campus restaurant that strangely provides relief from the South Campus Dining Hall that I can use my meal plan towards food of course).There's some state law that forbids the use of state dollars to buy alcohol (even though it's my money paying for the damn meal plan). I hope that rule changes. It would be bad ass to use my leftover meal points at the end of the semester on beer for lunch haha.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 05:02:10 PM »
Thread is now about drunk 18 year old girls!

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008, 05:17:34 PM »

Also, and I think Reggie will agree with me on this point, states rights, motherfuckers.


Not just states rights, but personal freedom too.  An adult is an adult.  Although I think an 18 year old is less equipped to deal with drinking than a 21 year old.  He is also less equipped to do almost everything else. 

Honestly, I'm shocked to see academia come out in such numbers for this.

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 09:23:50 PM »
Reggie, it's not that far-fetched. Most of us (I say that because I work student services) would recognize there's a serious drinking problem on campuses; helping instill responsible behavior as opposed to saying "don't do this" is all of what we want to do. It's philosophically no different than trying to use sex ed programs instead of simply saying "don't do it" - except in our case, "don't do it" is law that's frequently broken, often with dramatic effect. Helping people learn responsibility is a huge part of what we try to teach, in the holistic sense.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2008, 11:32:29 AM »
I applaud that.  Advocating personal responsibility just seems so against the direction our country is going.  I hope this is a sign of brighter things to come.

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2008, 10:56:29 AM »
I think a policy banning 18 year olds from drinking isn't advocating responsible drinking, and that's reflected in the work we're doing at my university. Each entering freshman is required to take an alcohol education course and complete it before they register for classes for the second semester of their first year. The course and their responses to questions, which tries to tailor its educational material based on their self-reported consumption, is confidential so we can get genuine responses and so they can learn about some of the real dangers of alcohol consumption before they experience it themselves. We're trying to have support services for them so they are better equipped to be functioning members of the university community and larger society at large. I just shy away from the label of saying this "advocates personal responsibility" because that phrase just sounds like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of thinking that I rejected a long time ago.

I would, in fact, argue that our country has lost sense of personal responsibility with the incredible growth of corporations in this company which displace personal responsibility in economic affairs.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2008, 02:42:21 PM »
I just shy away from the label of saying this "advocates personal responsibility" because that phrase just sounds like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of thinking that I rejected a long time ago.

Well, I think the education is a good idea (I'm not sure about the university paying for it, but whatever).  I'm growing more and more to believe that we can't figure out everything on our own and need to help each other.

I would, in fact, argue that our country has lost sense of personal responsibility with the incredible growth of corporations in this company which displace personal responsibility in economic affairs.

That is a very slanted view.  I'm sure many people would, in fact, argue that our country has lost sense of personal responsibility with the incredible growth of governmental control in this country which displaces personal responsibility in every affair, economic, social, legal and on and on.

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008, 03:04:14 PM »
Why is it very slanted?

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2008, 03:11:55 PM »
Because it's non-centrist!

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2008, 03:22:07 PM »
Why is it non-centrist? I don't understand how there's a center and that viewpoint is slanted from that center.

Offline fajwat

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 04:03:33 PM »
I just shy away from the label of saying this "advocates personal responsibility" because that phrase just sounds like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of thinking that I rejected a long time ago.

Well, I think the education is a good idea (I'm not sure about the university paying for it, but whatever).  I'm growing more and more to believe that we can't figure out everything on our own and need to help each other.

The U wants to pay for it not just because they want to be nice folks, but it's also in their best financial and educational interests to have healthier students.  Universities pay for their own health centers, student rec centers, etc.  Schools for younger kids, and the local police departments, etc., pay for sex ed and drug ed.  Of course college age kids should get comprehensive (not just abstinence) education to help them with the peer pressures, stereotypes and other misinformation they'll see in the coming years.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 04:14:55 PM »
Why is it non-centrist? I don't understand how there's a center and that viewpoint is slanted from that center.

Here is a quick primer on politics in America:

Socialist-Corporations are evil and cause all our problems.
DemoRepublicrats-Elect us more!
Libertarian-Government is evil and causes all of our problems.

The center opinion would be "We lost our personal responsibility because we elected the wrong version of governors!"

Anything else is slanted.  Right? 

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 04:15:30 PM »
I just shy away from the label of saying this "advocates personal responsibility" because that phrase just sounds like "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of thinking that I rejected a long time ago.

Well, I think the education is a good idea (I'm not sure about the university paying for it, but whatever).  I'm growing more and more to believe that we can't figure out everything on our own and need to help each other.

The U wants to pay for it not just because they want to be nice folks, but it's also in their best financial and educational interests to have healthier students.  Universities pay for their own health centers, student rec centers, etc.  Schools for younger kids, and the local police departments, etc., pay for sex ed and drug ed.  Of course college age kids should get comprehensive (not just abstinence) education to help them with the peer pressures, stereotypes and other misinformation they'll see in the coming years.

I'll buy that, and enjoy my purchase.