New Mexico State University is not a dry campus. New Mexico Tech is not a dry campus (except the one dry dorm hall. It’s their “quiet dorm,” where even residents over 21 may drink if they have no underage roommates.) The University of New Mexico has made a blanket decision about all of its students.
The school says we cannot drink in our dorms and gives a myriad of reasons reminiscent of Reefer Madness. However, all of these reasons lead to one conclusion: the population of UNM living on-campus is a ticking time bomb that is not to be trusted. It makes me feel like a criminal and a child, which is exactly what the school is saying.
They’re saying that we will sell alcohol to minors, that we will commit assault, rape, theft, murder and/or manslaughter, simply because we did not consume the alcohol in a stadium or bar. I see the school’s “dry campus” policy as an accusation of multiple felonies (not to mention criminal insanity), as an insult to my self-control, my intelligence, and sense of right and wrong.
I’ve seen the bottom floor of my elevator shaft in Redondo building C. It has a poster. The poster states that selling alcohol to minors is a felony. I will be evicted if I get caught drinking beer.
Now the school sells alcohol to students and will actively benefit from such an act. The school sells alcohol to students and believes that the setting and price will prevent alcohol from being alcohol.
I wrote an article about the taproom earlier this month. I asked my interviewee about the dry-campus policy and how the taproom will reconcile with that. Her answer was that it was safer to drink out. I disagree. This is why we have terms such as “date rape,” “bar fight” and “drunken sports riot.”
Did anyone see Philadelphia sports fans after the Eagles won the Super Bowl? How many of them do you think watched the game in a bar?
Where you serve me beer does not matter. I am a large man (6’2’’ and 230 pounds) — it will not matter where I drink beer until I drink more than six. I also understand that at bars, beers cost on average $5 and at stadiums on average $9.50 (based on bars on Central and the Isotopes’ stadium).
When I decide to get drunk at a bar or game I bring the money to do so. It simply makes me work harder for the money. If anything, it would likely only make me order hard liquor for efficiency’s sake.
When I drink, I know how much I’d like to drink, how drunk I’d like to be and when I should stop. I had to learn this. It would’ve been too expensive for me to learn this if I only drank at bars or at stadiums in a timely manner.
I also know I’m a happy drunk. Drinking makes me want to sing and make friends. It makes my father yell and want to hit things. I think that is because I want to sing and makes friends while I’m sober, and my dad wants to yell and hit things when he is.
You can’t make someone into a better drunk. However, if you’ve met the drunk versions of your friends, you’ve met what your friends are really like deep down. In ancient Greece it was considered part of the rites of passage into adulthood to learn your limits with alcohol.
I believe it’s extremely degrading and reinforces negative stereotypes to have this “dry-campus” regulation. I can see through it — I’m worried for the people who actually believe what the school is saying about its own students.
I find UNM’s reasoning very hard to believe with the under-construction taproom. UNM’s “dry campus” policy is even more laughable with the school constructing an actual bar in the Student Union Building.
Never has it been more obvious that UNM is more interested in profit than its students. It would rather make money off the taproom and alcohol sales during games. Meanwhile, any drunkenness at these places can be used to reinforce this silly “dry campus” policy.
This policy was not enforced by my RA’s or my roomates. No one listens to this rule unless they happen to be underage and don’t like drinking. It is very similar to prohibition in the 1920’s — nobody cares, someone’s making a lot of money, and entire classes of people have been semi-criminalized just for liking alcohol.
My challenge to UNM is to drop this silly regulation. We will soon have a bar on campus, so do not lecture me about the dangers of alcohol when you sell it. Buying a beer in the taproom won’t change the fact that it’s a beer.
Donald Amble is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Deambler.