With regard to Ms. Vania Smith’s Oct. 2 opinion piece, Hall staff won’t wait for a disaster, I would like to express my concern that the article was weighted in rhetoric and light on reason. Although space prevents me from refuting all of her misconceptions en toto, I will attempt to address the most glaring lapses in reason.
Ms. Smith intimates that GW students lose this much celebrated mystique – impressive resumes and SAT scores – to the lure of alcohol. Note her use of the word lure, thus denoting that GW students are not corrupted necessarily by the consumption of spirits, but, in her opinion, by the mere enticement or temptation of such consumption. She is referring to what is known in legal terms as mens rea, or a guilty mind. I was incognizant of the fact that the Community Living and Learning Center, like the communist regimes of the 20th century, sought to dissuade thoughts or conceptions.
Further, Ms. Smith writes derisively that GW students will realize that there are alternatives to alcohol. Perhaps Ms. Smith should not be so quick to write off the benefits of this drug, which presumably induces millions upon millions of Americans into consuming it. Not only can certain alcoholic beverages such as wine preempt coronary heart disease, but they are conducive to many acceptable social conventions such as personal interaction. Ms. Smith writes of 10 rooms, which she juxtaposes with a theoretical room, where students make friends and prepare for careers without engaging in illegal activity. I can pinpoint many instances in past years where, under the influence of alcohol, individuals have befriended respectable peers and furthered relationships.
In addition, it is noteworthy that Ms. Smith merely writes alcohol off as an illegal substance without giving due consideration to the merits of this legislation. Is it not inconsistent for the government to deem those of 18 years of age fit to go to war and kill his fellow man, to operate heavy machinery such as automobiles but incapable of handling the effects of wine or spirits?