21 and Over

Skyler Black

In August 2014, Georgia Southern lost one of it’s many Eagles. Michael Gatto was in an altercation at Rude Rudy’s which turned violent. He was 18 years old. The bar was, at the time, allowing people 18 and older access. With the passing of House Bill 152, also known as Michael’s Law, all bars in the state will be prohibited from letting anyone under 21 into their establishment.

This bill should have been put into place years before this incident occurred. Underage drinking is a national problem that needs to be addressed and dealt with in a serious matter by bars. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 2013, around 8.7 million people ages 12 through 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. When Michael Gatto was assaulted the statistics were already there proving that those students under the influence of alcohol were more likely to assault another student who has been drinking. This isn’t a new issue and it’s sad that it took a student’s death to do anything about it.

My own opinion is not the only viewpoint that matters. Many of the students here have voiced their opinion about Michael’s Law and how it affects them and how it will affect this campus as a whole. I interviewed multiple students, faculty, and members of the GSU community to get their input.

Austin Foster, Junior, Biology

Q: How does it affect you and do you think it is a good idea?

A: I just turned 21 so it’s not affecting me and I think it’s a great idea. The freshmen get a little rowdier than the upperclassmen.

Blake Lane, assistant minister at Christian Campus Fellowship

Q: Do you think it is a good idea and why?

A: I do think it’s a good idea because I think there needs to be more restrictions on alcohol consumption. I feel like Georgia Southern has a negative reputation about being the alcohol school and underage people always drinking.

David Potters, Sophomore, Computer Science

Q: How does it affect you and do you think it is a good idea?

A: I don’t think it’ll affect me as much personally but I know that it’ll affect a lot of other people and that’s not really as fair. It could be a good idea but kind of unfortunate for everyone else.

Dale Arnold, Music Director WVGS 91.9 The Buzz

Q: Do you think it is a good idea and why?

A: I disagree. I understand that they are doing it for safety and to prevent underage drinking but at the same time it’s like discriminating on age. Just because some people choose to be irresponsible with their IDs and some people choose to break the law, you shouldn’t punish everybody for a few people that break the law.

Sam Akins, Senior, Nutrition and Food Science

Q: Do you think it is a good idea and why?

A: Definitely, because you don’t technically need to be in a bar when you’re younger. I mean, I see that it’s fun but you’re also putting yourself in danger.