Letters to the Editor

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 18, 2009 7:30 AM

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Societal change needed to solve alcohol problem

While I truly appreciate all of the hours and effort that were put into Dec. 7 Daily Iowan article “The siren song of alcohol,” I feel as if the sirens fell onto deaf, drunken ears.

There are countless outside variables for why there is a rise in student drinking, but the public seems to concentrate on “this is just what stupid college kids do.”

This is not just an “Iowa City” issue. It is an issue all over the United States. But when one is only knowledgeable about what goes on in Iowa City or the Midwest, it gives the university a bad reputation. We are no worse then the University of Arizona or University of Florida. We have just molded into the expectation of what college “is” in the United States.

Sadly, this will not change, nor will it begin to change until society as a whole changes its perceptions about drinking. Drinking is not a top priority right now, especially in the media. What is placed on the front cover of Monday’s Daily Iowan after a Hawkeye football win? The football game coverage, or the incident of a drunk driver hitting and nearly killing a pedestrian on the same day? I think one can answer this in a mere five seconds.

I am not condemning or condoning the misadventures of many UI students that take place on “Thirsty Thursdays” and other alliterated days of the week. Rather, I am asking the drunks, the designated drivers, and the deans to look beyond the glazed eyes and seek the deeper answer that’s hidden within the alcohol.

Caitlin Fry
UI freshman

Support the troops; bring them home

Our whole country is in an economic crisis, yet the expensive wars not only are continuing but expanding. To the antiwar protesters, I admire you. I praise you just as much as the soldiers, because you care enough to do what you do.

As U.S. citizens, it is our duty to support our troops. And part of our duty, is to make sure that they are fighting a war that is protecting the safety of the United States. If they are in a warrantless or endless war, we owe it to them, the soldiers, to make sure that we get them home.

The military is a volunteer force, and because these men and women put their lives on the line to protect the United States, we must be sure we do not put them in harm’s way unjustly.

Bob Hanson
Iowa City resident

Mandatory alcohol class a joke

The thought of incoming freshmen being required to add a mandatory alcohol-education class is ridiculous. Making all students take this course is repetitive, because all freshmen have to complete an AlcoholEdu online course. Even if an alcohol-awareness course was implemented, I believe it would become a class students rarely attend. Students would consider it a “blow off” class and spend no time learning the concepts and definitions the class presented.

Students do not believe alcohol abuse can be learned in a classroom, and therefore, they wouldn’t see the point in attending class.

This alcohol-awareness class also seems to be a punishment for freshmen for not committing any wrongdoing. The system that is in place takes care of the students who do have a alcohol problem and allows students who do not to continue their education without restriction.

In popular culture today, college is seen as one big party in which students rarely attend classes and alcohol is everywhere. This could not be further from the truth, but learning this lesson should be a student’s responsibility. If a freshman drinks heavily, her or his grades will reflect it. And there is no bigger wake-up call than seeing thousands of dollars wasted on a failed semester.

Ryan Weber
UI junior

Students need to take responsibility

As I sit and read about what seems a never-ending list of complaints and grievances about the ever-growing drinking problem in Iowa City, I can’t help but wonder why all this is happening. Is it the bars’ fault? Of course not. The bars are there to provide a place for people to go, drink casually if they see fit, and most importantly, meet new people. They’re not there for people to get ridiculously drunk and make fools out of themselves.

I think instead of pointing the finger at establishments downtown, we as students need to take it upon ourselves to make good decisions when we’re out drinking and not feel the need to binge drink to have a good time. Have people really thrown all their standards out the window for the sole sake of getting drunk and having a good time?

Now, I’m not one to criticize people about drinking in any way. I just feel like people have the wrong view of how to drink. I think that instead of blaming others, let’s try our best to control ourselves and really think about what we’re getting ourselves into when going downtown. We as students are the only ones who can truly remove the negative stigma that’s following us right now.

Alec Sabin
UI freshman

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