Monday, April 7, 2008

A Better Solution

This is an interesting take from an experienced and decorated RA, Ben Johnson. Johnson asserts that freshmen should get "back on north campus" for their own safety.

But I am still skeptical of the assertion that freshmen in traditional residence halls drink less (or urinate themselves less, or are less belligerent, etcetera) than those in apartments or suites. I'd like to see the incident report figures and get some anecdotal surveys. It seems to me a non-sequitur, that residents' alcohol-related behaviors are based on where they live. I don't believe that ghettoizing freshmen will reduce their alcohol consumption or increase their level of responsibility.

I'm inclined to believe that a good place to start on our university's alcohol problem (as many administrators insist we have) is efforts to create stronger feelings of community, connectedness, and dedication to the university - a culture that encourages students to get out of their rooms and to a place other than the party or the bar. I'd like to see our great events better-advertised, and Art Attack to remain free and truly connected to students. This is perhaps more challenging than it sounds, and will take more than a Midnight Breakfast or an Open Mic Night. A diverse student-administrator joint task force charged with better understanding UMD's diverse student body and what turns it on could go a long way.

Update: Last Friday night/Saturday morning (April 4/5), suspects (students?) pushed a full-size refrigerator out of an Easton Hall lounge window, landing immediately in front of the doors to the building. Suspects have not yet been identified, but face up to three years in prison for attempted manslaughter and vandalism, among other crimes, according to RHA Senator Andrew Steinberg. This was in a high rise, not Leonardtown.

Posted By: Sumner Handy, President

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