"Greek life" is one of the most important components of university students' experiences in America. The mention of "Greek" on campus is associated with "Greek Houses" which are known to be associated with students consuming and dancing to loud music. As a result of campus parties, a number of students have ended being hospitalized particularity in recent years. This has caused a swift response from administrators who feel that partying should be prohibited in schools. This move has however raised a number of questions on how school administrators should handle student-sponsored events where alcohol is consumed. With universities implementing new restrictions on partying, specifically banning drinking, the right to shut down the houses has been questioned. Whereas some people have argued it is necessary to limit student's behaviors for the sake their health and security, others have questioned the administrator's right to interfere on student entertainment. Often, it seems righteous that the university administrators are taking their responsibility to protect students though limiting partying though it is evident that they are merely abandoning their duty to teach students how to be independent and responsible for their behaviors and rights. Despite the fact that administrators deny students the right to partying, as a result of problems associated with parties like excessive noise and alcohol over-consumption, such moves are unfair and ineffective. To address the issue of partying and alcohol consumptions, there is need to educate the students on the dangers of posed on their healthy and security rather than using prohibitions and regulations which have proved to be ineffective and out of place.
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In looking at whether university authorities should restrict students' rights to party, there is need to consider the main reasons put forward to justify banning of partying in schools. Majority of universities have shut down some party houses because partying has been associated with alcohol drinking as well as risks such as accidents, harm to students' health and the degradation of academic achievement. Along with physical harm to students' health, binge drinking has been involved in a number of incidents of violence including sexual assaults and fights. Universities that have banned partying claim that partying does not create the right environment that can make students concentrate their efforts on academic activities. Instead, partying creates situations which threaten students' health and safety though events such as consumption of alcohol and substances abuse, vandalism, physical violence. Recently, the administration of USC banned 16 partying houses from holding parties after eight students were hospitalized as a result of poisoning with alcohol. Adams the IFC's vice president on public relations reaffirmed that the safety of the university community was "always number one," (Stepney "Post-Rush IFC Parties Lead to Social Ban").
Often, the intake of alcohol has become a pre-condition for the incidents of sexual assault and violence, and University are making attempts to limit the partying time so as to minimize the associated risks with it. To limit such dangers, several measures have been imposed by the University such as the banning of party houses and filling the request forms to limit alcohol use within the campus. Despite these efforts, it is imperative to pay more attention to more effective ways for that would inform and protect students instead of violating their rights to entertainment. Instead of letting students give up drinking or partying passively, university can let students reduce drinking actively, since this will be more effective in arousing the student's subjective initiative.
It is known that most students lack the necessary knowledge on responsible drinking and are unaware of the serious consequences after binge drinking. Since students would not use their initiative to avoid alcohol abuse actively, it is important to impart students with knowledge about drinking and how to avoid it. Though some students confirm that they have completed alcohol education program such as AlcoEdu which is mandatory for any 1st year student in college, it is apparent that this program has proven to be ineffective. As Texeira Erin concluded in the article, the use of School-based anti-drug programs such as Red Ribbon and DARE and Week has had little impact on students who continue to use alcohol, tobaccos and drug as further confirmed by a comprehensive study commissioned by the California Department of Education. It is actually, not the idea of the course itself but rather the inconsistencies in the content of the program which has made their use ineffective in reducing the risks of partying and alcohol consumption. From personal experience, the programs provide students with plenty of ineffective knowledge. As an example, one of the recommendations of the program is that, peers who look a little drunk should be requested to go home even if they refuse to do it. In practice, this advice appears to be absolutely irrelevant being that everyone knows that it is preferable to persuade drunken friends to go home. While there is nothing new in this point, the realization of this intent is complicated significantly with the ethical considerations that student weigh since they fear it might ruin their relationship with friends. Some students might think their friends would be angry with them, while others might feel embarrassed. Majority of my fellow students also considered the program as boring and confessed that the only reason for which they had taken the course was to fulfill the University's requirement. By wasting the students' time, such program does not give answerers to the burning issue of partying nor is it imparting student with preventive knowledge.
The benefits from reducing the partying time are mostly rooted in some widely spread misconceptions. With the University being regarded as a platform for developing students' academic skills, most people evaluate its level by the level of academic achievements of student's grades. GPA is one of the important attributes of the schools' reputation with the University administration expecting that the limitations on partying and drinking will translate to improvement of students' achievements with students putting more stress on their studies. Some studies have however found evidence that the consumption of alcohol cannot be regarded as the main predictor of GPA alone (Singleton "Collegiate Alcohol Consumption and Academic Performance"). With no direct link between students' GPA and availability of drinking and partying at campus coupled with the misconception that some University administrations are sensitive to the definition of a "Party School", there banning of partying on these grounds are baseless. The USC new president Max Nikias believes that "Being, a 'party school' isn't exactly a reputation that goes hand-in-hand with being a top-notch academic institution" (Kaufman "Max Nikias Doesn't Want You to Get Drunk"). While a good reputation of an educational institution requires balancing the academic and entertaining activities of learners aimed at improving the social and academic performance of the University, university administrators should shift emphasis to the integration of innovative techniques into the curriculum rather than concentrating on over controlling the students' leisure time and extracurricular activities.
Over controlling students' time and activities is a conduct of depriving their right. Specifically, students' right to party is undeniable being that they are expected to be able to take responsibility for their choices and actions through the provision of opportunities to do so. As Floyd argues, "You can't expect universities to baby-sit them. They're not babies anymore" (Floyd) regarded as grown-up personalities; students have the right for making decisions which goes beyond the issues of grades. With Students been allowed to sign any forms without their guardians' signatures, it is clear that such rights and responsibilities prove that students are expected to be responsible for their decisions and their consequences. Students therefore have the right to manage their time, distributing it to their studies and entertainment as they wish. Given that partying is one of the most important entertainments at American campus, bans on partying or drinking on campus, is an indirectly infringement of students' rights for entertainment. Nevertheless, some parents and University administrators assert that students are not aware of what would be better for them and cannot be responsible for all their choices as a result of immaturity. By restricting young people's right for free choice, universities contravene their mission as an educational institution aimed at teaching students how to make informed choices and take responsibility for them.
In providing students with a set of rights and responsibilities, the community provides them with an opportunity to learn how to be responsible. With the public opinions as to the right of young people in making independent decisions having been divided, this has allowed some educators and parents to emphasize the lack of students' maturity as the main argument for the inability of the students in making informed decisions and independent choices (Khan 27). At the same time, students' right for making free choices must be upheld in order to give them opportunities to receive the necessary life experience in order to development of their skills. Recognizing that alcohol abuse as one of the burning issue of student campus life, Universities should look for more effective methods of handling the problem rather than banning and imposing the prohibitive measures without explaining the rationale behind them. If a University shuts down party houses or limits drinking, this does not help the students to set the priorities but it prevents them from making conscious choices as well as stimulating young people to avoid the watchful eyes of the administration.
Disregarding all the risks associated with partying which have negative impact, partying is an important means of communication of the peer students and their socialization helpful for maintaining the friendly atmosphere at campus (Korgen 21). Through partying, freshmen and sophomore can make new friends and find their place in a group of students with common interests or simply have fun. For all students, socialization is not simply a way to make friends, but also an opportunity to get jobs as it promotes the communication among different groups as alumni and current students. Partying is therefore beneficial not only for students but for the University as well since it can attract more alumni bringing them together with the students thereby broadening the networks and even raising funds.
While the problem of partying and alcohol abuse and its associated risks cannot be ignored, there is need not limit partying since it is not centered on drinking alone. Instead, there are a wide range of aspects which need to be taken into consideration. One of this is the trend where underage students get drunk as a result of negative influence from senior students. Though such impact is harmful, the entire student body should not be denied the right to partying. More specifically, sale of alcohol should be prohibited to underage young adults who may attempt to buy the alcohol via using fake IDs. Likewise, seniors who force minor to drink alcohol should be serious penalty as deterrence to others. With regard to excessive noise, parties can be held during the nighttime. The University administration and the fraternity can also reach an agreement which would be acceptable for all the players and in doing so, the issue of partying and its threats to student safety and security will improve promoting cohesiveness in the University between the administration and the student body.
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