Weekend news reports covered the shocking level of drinking and alcohol-fueled violence at UMASS on Saturday. Nashoba sports editor Ed Niser was there to cover a high-school tournament and has his own reflections on what he saw at the annual St. Patrick's Day binge.
Too often, we hear about students whose excessive drinking is an obstacle for other students who are just trying to get a good education. Too many reports have talked about roommates -- one who drinks and one who doesn't -- with the nondrinking roommate faced with loud and obnoxious behaviors and lots of indiscriminately released vomit.
It was heartening to hear UMASS Amherst President Kumble Subbaswamy call the "Blarney Blowout" a debacle that "brought shame on our fine university." We hope the punishment of those found guilty of misconduct is significant. Some 73 people were arrested and likely many more deserved to be.
Despite advancements our society has made in its attitude toward excessive drinking, we are still too lax. College is not the time for young people to let loose and try everything their parents told them not to do in high school. College is for adults. Driving is for adults. Anyone who enjoys the perks of adulthood must suffer consequences as an adult.
So much damage is caused by people who act while under the influence of alcohol. We cannot slap on the wrist, for instance, the driver who kills innocents in his or her fog of inebriation.
According to MADD, "of all the dangers your teen faces, underage drinking is among the worst. Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious--and potentially deadly--threat. Compared with nondrinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to:
* Die in a car crash
* Get pregnant
* Flunk school
* Be sexually assaulted
* Become an alcoholic later in life
* Take their own life through suicide
In 2012, MADD reports that 10,322 people were killed. More than 340,000 were injured.
These statistics can easily strike home.