OPINION: College alcohol culture: Who is responsible?

Opinion piece
Tyler Tyack, Freshman Criminal Justice Major

Let’s face it, we all know that drinking is stereotypically part of the college atmosphere, but does it have be? What point do we all simply say enough is enough? It’s sad to think that the majority of college students think that drinking is a necessity for having a good time at a social gathering. And while I’m sure we all paid 100% attention to the Drugs and Alcohol seminars, there continues to be an alcoholic culture festering on our campus.

While minutely effective at best, these seminars and programs about alcohol safety just don’t resonate with the populace. Why? Because the come off as lame, awkward and just repetitive. I for one do not drink, bit even still, I cringe at these programs. The whole club atmosphere that drinking parties create is simply more appealing to our generation than these sober meet and greets. Until we change that, people will simply resort to drinking.

But back to the topic at hand, why do those in charge give up to this culture? As I sit here writing this article at Tybee Island, I’ve already seen several clear instances of underage drinking. Granted, some members of our college are above the legal age of consumption, but is it not true that the majority of them are below it? Why was the portion of the beach Armstrong was using not roped off and alcohol free? At the time of this writing, no ill events have befallen any of our Pirates, and hopefully this will remain the case.

However, that just means we did enough right? Our country as a whole does not take action on ANYTHING before tragedy occurs. Why is this the norm? Things only have to change after someone is killed drunk driving, or paralyzed when they were hit by an intoxicated driver. By not doing anything now, we set this as the expectation for the future.

Now this article should not be seen as a criticism of our fine police officers; that’s not who is at fault here. The guilty parties here are the bureaucratic officials who won’t do their due diligence and pass protective measures. With that said, we can then fault ourselves. The problem honestly starts with us, from the 21 plus year old who goes out and purchases alcohol for minors, to the student who has chosen to ignore the education given to them on alcohol abuse and down beers, even in moderation.

While I realize that few have continued reading this far, I will wrap it up.  To the person reading who doesn’t drink, who feels like they must be the odd one out, who sees their closest friends going to parties and joining alcohol fueled Frats, who sees so much popular culture pushing alcohol as a cool thing to do, know that you are not alone. There are others in your boat, plenty. However, it appears to me that we ALONE are the people willing to change things. Change is something only the brave will try to create. Simply stating your beliefs on drinking will start a trend that, while small at first, can only create a positive impact on us all.

To the people who supply alcohol to all the underaged students on our great campus, be thankful vulgarity is not kindly viewed in newspapers, as I have some choice words for you.

Finally, to all the people on campus that participate in these alcoholic events, please stop for a second. You have a choice, to drink or not drink. I for one would never look down upon you for making either choice, but would certainly hope you take the latter.

I care about the well-being of all our fellow students, and only express my opinion here because of that. I thank all of you for caring enough to even skim this article, and hope we can all make this world a better place.