Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Update: Wow, part II

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but I am very pleasantly surprised - thrilled, even - by the latest efforts of the Harvard administration.

I wrote about the attack on undergraduate drinking they launched last week. Well, much to my shock and delight, the administration is not backing down. If anything, they've gotten even tougher: all funding to the student council has been frozen until the beer money program ends.

I'll add another link to that Crimson article; I'm too tired right now to go into it at length, but it's definitely worth reading for the unintentionally hilarious college student posturing. The kids just want someone else to pay for their booze, they are so pissed that they might have to buy their own jello shots. But, of course, they cannot actually come out and say that in public, for print. So instead we get all these great lines about social inequality (the rich will don robes to sip brandy by the fire, turning their backs on the faces of the underclass pressed longingly up against the window, their shivering hands clutching tight to cans of PBR) and the creation of a dangerous drinking culture (cheap, low-quality aluminium kegs imported from China are reported to have serious structural flaws, with a significant risk of collapse during keg stand attempts, potentially leading to serious head trauma).

The administration is having none of it. I simply must quote the Assistant Dean's comment: "The reality is the administration is not forcing any student to do anything illegal or dangerous. They’re making a choice to do that." An Ivy League college actually making a case for personal responsibility?? Maybe it's the administration that's been drinking!

Anyway, like I said, I'm loving this, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Because self-absorbed college students these days might scoff at most of the freedoms in America (and don't even get me started on freedoms in the rest of the world), but, I assure you, they will go to the barricades for free drinks. Look for a repeat of sixties radicalism as administration buildings are invaded for massive sit-ins. After all, the choice to not drink yourself senseless on someone else's dime three nights a week is not really a choice at all.

No comments: