Underage Drinking Should Raise Concern on Campus

Gary Izo, Avon Lake resident

To the Editors:

I was in Oberlin this last weekend and picked up a copy of the Nov. 20 edition of The Oberlin Review. What caught my interest was the article, “Students Ticketed by State Police at ’Sco,” by staff writer Louis Krauss.

It appears that this was not a planned State Police operation. The officers noticed youthful people carrying alcohol on the sidewalk and responded accordingly. They were rightfully charged for underage drinking, an offense punishable with penalties as severe as six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. They could have also been possibly charged with public intoxication and, if they were going to attempt to operate a motor vehicle, a DUI charge.

What is troubling to me, and I hope to other responsible Oberlin administrators, faculty, students and local residents is what appears to be the “Oh well” attitude by the offenders and individuals mentioned in the article. What the three students did was illegal — they were caught and will have to answer for their behavior. This is what happens in a society governed by laws. Likewise, we should expect college students, who will hopefully graduate, to conduct themselves in a manner that will be expected of them once they leave school and move on with their lives. The real world does not tolerate child-like behavior.

Rather than appearing to be disinterested, Dean of Students Eric Estes should have forcefully condemned the students’ actions. Clif Barnes, Safety and Security Assistant Director, should use this as a teachable moment; maybe we have a problem on campus.

To further emphasize the naiveté of Estes and Barnes, I encourage everyone to read the Review Security Notebook on page 3 of the Nov. 20 issue: “Saturday, Nov. 14, 12:56 a.m., Safety and Security officers respond to help a student ill from alcohol consumption.” Likewise, “Nov. 15, 12:20 a.m., officers respond to assist an intoxicated student in the basement restroom of Wilder Hall. The student was transported to Mercy Allen Hospital for treatment at their request.”

Gary S. Izo

Avon Lake resident