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News
Editorial: Underage drinkers beware and behave


Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday September 3, 2003

Students under 21, watch out: Any drinking in the residence halls will get you booted out. So will possession of alcohol paraphernalia.

Out partying on the weekends? Police have made it clear that if you're caught, you'll be arrested and could go to jail.

Any doubters need look no farther than this past weekend, where 125 minors were arrested and 57 sent to jail at one party.

We're witnessing a wave of zero tolerance policies when it comes to underage alcohol use, and though students may consider these rules draconian, at least Residence Life and the Tucson Police Department are demonstrating that they're serious about enforcing the law and protecting people from having their peace and privacy disturbed by drunks.

Without a doubt, the zero tolerance policy in the residence halls hasn't come unprovoked. Students coming back to the halls drunk are disturbing their hallmates. Likewise, loud parties disrupt area residents, many of whom aren't students and keep different hours from their younger neighbors.

Residents in the area north of the UA have complained about loud student parties and, as the university continues to grow toward a student population of around 40,000, it becomes increasingly clear that the problem won't solve itself.

Alcohol is undeniably the source of most of this behavior. And while drinking, underage or not, is a real and inevitable factor of college life, disruptive, destructive, and dangerous behavior need not be.

And now, both Residence Life and police are making it clear that any action that promotes alcohol-induced behavior won't be tolerated.

Some could argue that a dorm regulation prohibiting "trophy bottles" and other alcohol-related paraphernalia goes too far. On the surface, that appears to be true. But by banning anything alcohol-related from the dorms, Residence Life has sent a message that can't be misinterpreted that underage drinking isn't legal and won't be tolerated, especially in state buildings.

Same goes for the cops accuse them of oppression if you like, but remember, they're just enforcing the law.

So take your chances. If you're careful, if you're quiet and if you're sensitive to the rights of your hallmates and neighbors, you probably have a good chance of not being caught. It's not that difficult to keep parties under control.

But when your behavior becomes destructive toward others and you get caught, blame yourself, not the people enforcing the rules.


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