University undecided about stance on drinking age

University officials from some of the nation’s best-known colleges are pushing for lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, but the chancellor said he is unsure of his stance on the issue.

Chancellor Victor Boschini said he is weighing both sides and has yet to make a decision.

However, Boschini said the university will abide by state and local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The Amethyst Initiative is a movement that began in July with members of the Annapolis Group, a group of about 120 liberal arts colleges that agreed the drinking age in America was not an effective means to promote responsible drinking habits.

According to the Amethyst Initiative’s Web site, a signatory is responsible for pledging both themselves and their institutions to play an active role in the national discussion on lowering the drinking age.

TCU is not committed to the initiative, however, Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said he is in favor of lowering the drinking age.

“I think lowering the drinking age would be beneficial to the TCU campus,” Mills said. “A school would be more in its place to educate about responsible legal drinking rather than policing illegal underage drinking.”

Students expressed mixed thoughts about the Amethyst Initiative.

“The sooner we allow teens to drink, the more alcohol will become a common commodity and less of a luxury,” sophomore music performance major Brandon Polson said. “Teens would be less likely to binge drink if they didn’t have to hide their drinking.”

Some students, however, don’t agree starting to drink at a younger age is the best decision.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to start drinking at 18,” junior education major Darius Yaites said. “I’ve been able to wait until I’m 21 without alcohol and I think it’s for the best that the legal drinking age stays at 21.”

There are 129 signatories of the Amethyst Initiative which include Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Dartmouth College.