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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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Don’t criminalize students

As a 17-year-old freshman, not a night of my college career will be spent legally drinking.

However, I feel strongly about current legislation and its enforcement. While various laws/fines may have decreased alcohol abuse, they have also created a climate of fear and anger among students and distrust between them and the citizens of the city they inhabit. Sometimes, the University of Iowa and the police seem more excited about catching students red-handed than helping them to make healthy choices.

I do not oppose the 21-ordinance or punishing those who violate the law, but clearly, fining and admonishing the student population can only go so far in cultivating a happy and healthy atmosphere at the university. I think law-enforcement officials and school administrators need to remember the goal of their jobs: to protect and assist their constituency. Community service and alcohol-education classes can be much more effective responses to violations than a slap on the wallet — erm, wrist.

I don’t drink. I’m that scholarship girl who gets touted as “well-behaved.” But I want harmony and cooperation to flourish at the UI as much as anyone else.

Eliana Parnas
UI freshman


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