Hard Alcohol Ban
I remember watching my first Champagne on the Steps. As a freshman, I didn't really drink or have the opportunity to see many college students drunk, so needless to say, that event was entertaining and something that I was looking forward to enjoying when I became a senior. That was also the last Champagne on the Steps, because in reality, Colby doesn't want us to die. I was sad when I heard about its termination, but I understood the rationale--it wasn't a safe event and it had to end.
At Colby, the motto is work hard and play hard(er). But I must admit that it has gotten scary with reports claiming that Colby is the drunkest NESCAC and admissions books describing our entire social scene as something that revolves around alcohol. Drinking on the weekends also destroys our beautiful campus; dorm damage is a big issue at Colby, but this is not the case for many campuses like our own. What are we doing to our livers? Why are we doing this? For smart kids, why are we so socially awkward? Why can't we have a healthy drinking environment?
There have been many opinions flying around about the ban on hard alcohol. But the bottom line is that this ban is being proposed because the administration doesn't want us to die. We can't realistically drink enough beer or wine to kill us. So one would hope that if we can prove we can drink responsibly, maybe one day Colby will be a place where people can enjoy Mojitos and White Russians in their dorm again, but I doubt it. Hard alcohol abuse isn't the problem, it's a symptom of the larger problem--most Colby students do not know how to drink responsibly. What will the ban on hard alcohol result in? Perhaps a new and improved Colby where students drink less and have more normal social interactions on the weekend that have nothing to do with liquor? I don't think so. I'm sure things will slowly and surely improve but the problem isn't that we drink to the point of near death. We don't know how to drink and the campus doesn't know how to lead healthy conversations on drinking.
There are two extremes for conversations on alcohol at Colby. The first is led by the Health Center/Administration/any concerned adult: "Drinking is bad. It will cause you to do poorly in school. Don't do it to your liver. Etc." Then there are conversations that take on the extreme approach: "Let's get wasted. I can't wait to be shit-faced. Etc." I'm not trying to sound like that guy from our freshman supper seminars, but neither of these conversations are positive. We lost Champagne on the Steps because of our stupidity and lack of responsibility toward drinking, and now we're losing our vodka, tequila, rum, gin, whiskey, scotch, etc. What are we going to lose next? I hope nothing; I hope that as a community we can create a better drinking environment, and I hope that we realize that there is a lot of work to be done regarding this issue.