Why Radford should change to a wet campus

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Darcy Anderson


Radford University is currently and commonly known as the party school to people around here. In 2013, Radford was labeled number 13 in a list of “20 Most Underrated Party Schools in the US” by COED. On Urban Dictionary, the first definition says that Radford is “the University that students will out drink and out party ANY school that wants to challenge.”

The campus was voted by the Student Affairs Executive Council to become a dry campus in 2008 and was enforced in the 2009-2010 year by the Standards of Student Conduct. Davina Porter, who graduated in 2002 when Radford was a wet campus, said that “there are probably so many people partying because if you tell students they can’t have something, they will try to get more of it.”

In regard to Radford’s reputation, Porter said, “all schools are party schools … Kansas isn’t going to know about Radford’s reputation. The only reason Radford has it is because there are so few schools here.” When she was here, Porter said that there were people bar hopping and buying six-packs to watch TV with but no one was actually getting drunk on campus.

Washington University (located in St. Louis) had a newspaper that posted an article in 2004 by Roman Goldstein explaining why a wet campus is better than a dry campus. According to him, “Other countries, with far looser alcohol and drug laws, … don’t suffer the same problems America does. The problem is America’s puritanical culture, and for the safety and well-being of the nation’s youth, that culture needs to change.”

Porter and I agree on the safety issue. In regards to students being afraid of calling the authorities when something goes wrong, Porter said, “it is completely unsafe.” In my opinion, having a wet campus and stricter safety laws would allow for safer environments for students and might change student views that they should be sneaking around cops.

Goldstein goes further into his explanation, saying, “Students are safest when they drink in full public view, where … others are most able to help, and where the alcohol is beer rather than Everclear. The University can end dangerous pre-partying by funding kegs … and encouraging students to drink that alcohol rather than harder stuff back in their rooms.”

As for parents and students who will possibly be concerned about going to a wet campus, Porter said this generation has more parent intervention. “It would help the situation if they took the ban off. If someone is naïve enough to believe any campus is a dry campus, they will probably be the only ones not applying. Raise kids to believe that all universities will have alcohol.”

In my own personal experience, I have gone to only a couple parties, and a bar once. I want to let students and prospective students and parents that students are able to make their own decisions and not everyone drinks here. We have a choice to drink or not to drink. You or your child are smarter than you think.

Also, we already have a bad reputation of being a party school. If we change our policy on alcohol, what do we have to lose? The stigma could go away or stay. Now that we have a new president, maybe he will try to change this.

*Note:  Porter wants to let the public know that she is not condoning underage drinking and she did not start drinking until she turned 21.