Magazine article USA TODAY

Every College Faces the Same Problem

Magazine article USA TODAY

Every College Faces the Same Problem

Article excerpt

The call to consider reducing the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 could spur some valuable discussion, but its passage alone would not solve the college student alcohol problem, according to Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington.

More than 100 college and university chancellors and presidents have signed a public statement asserting that the current legal drinking age of 21 has not worked. The higher education leaders are part of the Amethyst Initiative, an organization started in July. A welcome message on its website reads that the current drinking age "has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking" on college campuses. The organization "supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21-year-old drinking age"

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Gonzalez founded the BACCHUS Network ("Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students") at the University of Florida in 1975. It has grown to be the largest collegiate organization focused on preventing alcohol abuse. Gonzalez says he understands the desire for administrators to speak more candidly with students about alcohol abuse. Some campuses struggle with addressing students not of drinking age about the issues of alcohol. …

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