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Drinking not purely a personal choice

Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, April 9, 2008

For some reason, a lot of college students seem to believe that drinking is a compulsory aspect of college life, a precept as fundamental as any listed in the Bill of Rights. Certainly, the 2,000 students who stormed the Main Building 24 years ago in protest of Notre Dame’s then-new alcohol policy would agree.

Being in college doesn’t entitle us to do as we please and we must remain sensitive to the effects of our choices – whether they involve alcohol or not – on other people.

Although I do not drink alcohol, I’ve always believed that the decision to drink in college is a matter of personal choice as long as those who drink respect those who don’t. However, my patience runs thin when one person’s choice becomes another person’s problem. I can’t imagine that my dorm’s cleaning people are amused as they scrub the vomit of drunken students from toilet seats after a weekend of “responsible” drinking.

Certainly, excessive drinking by Notre Dame students has rankled local residents and undermined relations between Notre Dame and nearby communities.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong about drinking, but a heavily inebriated person simply cannot appreciate how offensive his or her actions can be to others. It’s pretty disgusting when a person is so intoxicated that he confuses a sink with a urinal.

Colin Littlefield


St. Edward’s Hall

Apr. 8