Alcohol protocol triggers debate – Opinion

Alcohol protocol triggers debate
Kaitlin Paulsen

Issue date: 10/7/09 Section: Opinion
via Alcohol protocol triggers debate – Opinion.

The new UMD Alcohol Protocol is a living, breathing document and is subject to change. If something within the protocol is not feasible, reasonable or functional, it can be amended.

As far as I’ve seen, this protocol is the best way to address the ongoing alcohol-related problems occurring within the Duluth community. These problems are brought about by a very small number of students that attend UMD and therefore, will only address those students, not the entire student body.
The intentions of this protocol are not to punish every student who gets a minor consumption during their time at UMD but rather to meet the university’s obligation to the health and safety of the students. If UMD has an opportunity to potentially identify and rectify alcohol problems, even with one UMD student, and possibly help before those problems get worse, why oppose a protocol that does just that? I think we’re all overlooking the fact that UMD cares about the students and is willing to step up and address some potentially fatal problems that occur in Duluth. Why don’t we value this? Let’s try and be a little less worrisome about getting in trouble because as long as you’re not stupid, you’re not going to have a problem with the protocol.

To anyone opposed to the presented protocol, I would like to question why we should not raise the bar that we hold each other to at this university. As previously stated, this protocol is as fair and reasonable as it can get while still appeasing to the majority of people that make up the community of Duluth because UMD students are not the only party that makes up this city.

This protocol does not seek to, and will not, prevent all students from consuming alcohol or attending parties. It simply is asking us to do so responsibly and respectfully to our neighboring community members in mind. Yet I see people failing to do so weekend after weekend. These small numbers of students are the ones giving us all a bad name in this city. It is difficult for me to understand why students are so opposed to doing something about this. Do you like the current reputation UMD students have? This is the reason why Duluth is proposing so many city ordinances that are considered anti-student. Go figure. I’d like to live in a town where the people here actually want me to be here, wouldn’t you?

I believe that this protocol has the potential to significantly improve the status and reputation of UMD, as we have seen from the media responses throughout the state and nation. Why shouldn’t we as a university at least attempt to make Duluth a better place and UMD a more credible and respected university?

Lighten up UMD, and let’s do the right thing.

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