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Drinking-friendly residence halls

Shanel Hughes
Shanel Hughes

Twenty-one is a huge birthday for many American young adults. This birthday marks the day in history when they can drink in public, the day they can buy alcohol from the liquor store, the day they realize they are going to have to get a job because alcohol is expensive.

On this day, many venture to the land of Old Town, where there is never a shortage of bars. After hours of fun, many of these young adults return to their apartments and homes off-campus, with their fridges already stocked with Campus West’s finest. Other young adults return to the residence halls. Back to a fridge of to-go boxes and possibly spoiled milk. Back to the harsh reality that they are not allowed to drink in the place they call home.

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As we all know, CSU is mostly a dry campus (except for the RamSkeller). That means no alcohol is allowed pretty much any place outside of the Skeller, especially in the residence halls. Since the residence halls are mainly occupied by first-year students who tend to be between the ages of 18 and 20, it makes perfect sense for our residence halls to be dry, because these students are not of the legal drinking age. But, with the coming of a new residence hall and addition of upper-class halls in this hall and older residence halls, what are we going to do to cater to the needs of these residents? What incentives do they have to stay on-campus after they hit the age of twenty-one?

None. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that not every 21 year old drinks or has the desire to move off-campus in order to drink. But, when I ask a majority of residents why they are moving off-campus one of their top three reasons would be because they want to drink. They want the freedom to be able to drink. And most of the time, it’s not “crazy drinking.” They just want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine with their homework in the evening without having to worry about getting in trouble with their RA. And I think that is fair.

As a 21-year-old student still on campus, I understand the struggles of other students who are of the legal drinking age and in the dorms. CSU should seriously consider having some alcohol-friendly floors in some of the residence halls here on campus; with all the construction and renovations, CSU should even consider having an entire alcohol-OK residence hall.

Only residents who are 21 and up would be allowed to stay on these floors and/or in these halls. There would also be a RA who was 21 or older on these floors. It would be best to start off with some floors in different residence halls, just to see how things work out. If things go well, it would be nice to have an entire residence hall where students of age would be able to drink. I think that it would be important to have some rules, since this concept would be new to students. Maybe only allowing a certain amount of alcohol in the room at any given time or some rule like that, just to see how things work out for the first couple of years. I feel that a floor/hall like this, if properly handled, could be very successful and beneficial to CSU and keeping upper-classmen on campus.

I think it is important to have upper-classmen in the residence halls. Many are good examples and role-models to first and second year students. But, I do not see many upper-class students on campus and our dry campus is one of the main reasons why. I understand, but I think it is time to consider some changes for those who stay past their 21st birthday.

So, to whoever makes the rules about the residence halls (maybe someone in Palmer), please consider making an alcohol-friendly floor in one of the residence halls. Despite the lies people tell you as a child, school, especially college, does not get easier as the years go on. It gets harder and more stressful. Sometimes, students of age like to take a drink, just to relax. Sometimes in celebration of a good grade or for no reason at all. Whatever reason, they should be able to do so in the place they call “home.” Whether that place be off campus or on campus, we should make that space available for them. Come on, it’s only fair.

Shanel Hughes would like to see students’ that are of age being able to drink wherever they call home. Feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

IN BRIEF:

  • Many students move off-campus because they cannot drink in their residence hall

  • CSU should consider having an alcohol-friendly floor or residence hall where students over the age of 21 can live and drink alcohol

  • This would be beneficial for the students and for CSU

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