Augustana is currently a dry campus, which means that students of any age are not allowed to drink or possess alcohol on campus grounds.
Continuing Augustana’s dry campus policy will uphold its core values: Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service.
It will also keep the percentage of underage alcohol consumption low. Augustana is a Lutheran school. Therefore, having a dry campus is consistent with our Christian core value.
Our mission statement is “Inspired by Lutheran scholarly tradition and the liberal arts, Augustana provides an education of enduring worth that challenges the intellect, fosters integrity and integrates faith with learning and service in a diverse world.”
Considering drinking is often a factor which leads to sexual assault and other crimes, allowing drinking would go against the integrity our Christian mission statement claims to foster. Not only does drinking go against Augustana’s Christian values, but it also hinders students’ ability to achieve Excellence.
Having a dry campus is a major factor in many students’ college decisions. Students who seek out a college with a dry campus policy will likely be more focused on school than other students who may be turned away by our campus drinking policy. By keeping our dry campus policy, we are more likely to continue seeing the academic success we have been able to maintain.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 25 percent of students report academic consequences related to drinking in 2015. This includes missed classes, falling behind and poor grades.
If Augustana were to loosen the dry campus policy, students 21 or older would be able to drink alcohol in the dorms. This would make it easier for underage students to gain access to alcohol regularly.
Freshmen and sophomores could get alcohol quickly and easily without ever having to leave campus, creating a conducive environment to illegal drinking.
Legalizing alcohol on campus could also raise the risk of student binge drinking and eventually developing drinking problems.
Another NIAAA survey from 2015 says 66 percent of drinking-college students engage in binge drinking. Binge drinking combined with the stress that inevitably comes with college is a dangerous mixture which can lead to alcoholism. By giving the green light to drink on campus, students may be more likely to turn to alcohol in times of stress.
As alcohol use increases, the risk of students caught drinking and driving does too. Even though there are programs in place to aid in reducing drunk driving, there is no perfect solution. Drunk driving is one of the leading killers of college-aged students. According to the NIAAA, 1,825 college students died in 2015 due to alcohol- related unintentional injuries.
Additionally, the social pressure to drink would increase by implementing a wet campus policy. Students would no longer have the excuse that the school’s policy bans alcohol, so many underage students might be more likely to give into peer pressure.
By staying a dry campus, Augustana is encouraging a healthy, alcohol-free lifestyle that will promote excellence and health among students.
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