Staff editorial: Think about drug and alcohol choices

Incoming students are supposed to be smarter than ever – the average freshman SAT spiked 30 points in one year to 1270. But the higher academic numbers obviously do not measure the thoughtfulness of student decisions as three times as many students from this time last year were evicted from University housing for drug use and drinking-induced hospitalizations have nearly doubled.

University Police have not increased patrols or stepped up attempts to catch illicit behavior, but for some reason students are determined to make it harder on themselves. It is not that students are necessarily smoking or drinking more as a group, or are quicker to take intoxicated friends to the hospital, as some University officials would imply. It is more likely that students are not thinking before they act.

Students should know how to be responsible and handle their “extracurricular” activities discretely. This year, however, it seems students are unable to avoid UPD detection even more than in past years. So far, students have been caught smoking marijuana in an academic building and with the door open in a freshman residence hall. They have walked into the UPD station intoxicated looking for a ride home and have passed out in a 4-RIDE van, according to the UPD Crime Log. Students must realize these are not smart behaviors and will probably result in confrontation with police.

The Hatchet does not condone illegal activities, reported or not. But students are going to drink underage and use drugs nonetheless. If students choose to partake in activities that violate the University drug and alcohol policy, they should be responsible about it. Do not drink to the extent when your friends need to call UPD because you are lying motionless on the bathroom floor, as in the case of another incident reported in the Crime Log, not only for your judicial record, but for your safety.

Students continue to be irresponsible, even with the Center for Alcohol and Drug Education’s new policy of informing parents about student violations.

No matter how entitled students think they are to drink when they are under 21 or use drugs, they should understand that it is not only against University policy, but also against the law. GW’s safety net allows students to continue to be thoughtless by not introducing them to the repercussions of the real world. Further irresponsible student actions could prompt tougher enforcement and penalties for all students.

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