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Sunday, February 18, 2007

College Prohibition: Could Massachusetts Schools Go Dry?

Massachusetts Rep. Frank Hynes has introduced a bill that would ban alcohol from all state university campuses. Under the measure even legal drinking age students, faculty and visitors would not be allowed to have a drink.

Rep. Hynes says that he doubts the bill has a chance to pass, but he introduced it after recent alcohol-related incidents, including a student death. He points out that most undergraduate students are not 21 years old and are already drinking illegally.

Several college officials said they doubted a new law would be anymore effective than existing laws or campus regulations. The fact is that they are right. Based on my time at college decades ago and more recent experiences seeing two daughters off to schools large and small, keeping alcohol from the lips of college students is impossible. Schools would be much better off imposing realistic regulations and trying to keep a cap on the amount of alcohol available to all students.

The only thing an on-campus ban in Massachusetts would do is generate more business for nearby off-campus bars.

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