Lighten Up Appalachian State

There comes a time when personal responsibility and common sense needs to prevail in today’s society of blame shifting, frivolous lawsuits and political correctness. A recent change in the campus alcohol policy at Appalachian State University has now banned drinking games at tailgating events in order to promote “safe drinking behavior”. When did playing flippy cup, beer pong or any other drinking game become such a nuisance that an entire university felt it necessary to rewrite the campus policy? Shouldn’t personal responsibility take precedence here rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater and banning drinking games at tailgate parties?

The Appalachian: New alcohol policy bans drinking games

First things first, we do not condone drinking and driving nor do we support drunken and obnoxious behavior while tailgating. Actually we do not condone those activities anywhere and our disapproval it not just quarantined to tailgating. Also, we are not picking on Appalachian State University and making them easy targets. This is taking into question any organization that seems to be overstepping its bounds when invading our personal lives and choices. So now that we have made that clear, why does the Appalachian State University (or any other college or university for that matter) feel it is necessary to ban drinking games? I am to only assume that they believe that drinking games while tailgating promotes an immature management of alcohol. That argument may have some merit but shouldn’t that decision be left up to the individual and not some bureaucratic body? Whatever happened to personal responsibility in this country?

The argument stated in the newspaper article is that, “A lot of students, especially freshmen, don’t know how to handle themselves with alcohol.” Our question is, ‘why are freshmen drinking at tailgate parties in the first place’? Last time I checked, most college freshmen are under the age of 21. The legal drinking age in North Carolina (where Appalachian State University is located) is 21. So if the university is trying to protect the immature freshmen from binge drinking, freshman caught drinking while tailgating should be ticketed. I am sure there are police officers roaming the tailgate parties prior to the game. Isn’t it their job to see someone that could be underage drinking to ask to see their ID? Pretty simple concept if you ask me. The argument could be made that drinking games while tailgating could lead to more drunken driving incidents. That argument does not necessarily fly in the face of reality because someone can get a DUI or worse, hurt someone while drinking and driving, by having too many drinks and not playing a single drinking game.

Playing drinking games at a tailgate party is not the problem. Unfortunately the practice is being blamed for irresponsible behavior and not the individuals whom are making the bad choices and behaving poorly. If Appalachian State University is really concerned about the safety and well being of the tailgaters it should ban all alcohol consumption at all tailgate parties. That way anyone caught with a cocktail in their hand could be up for citation. Drunken and obnoxious behavior would probably decrease substantially and I am confident the number of drinking and driving incidents would plummet as well. Of course the university would never consider this drastic measure since the alumni club would probably raise a stink over an alcohol ban. The alumni clubs in their university sponsored hospitality tents do not play drinking games so they are unaffected by this ban. I will assure you that in those tents some of the hardest drinking you will see goes on and not one cup has been flipped or one ping pong ball sunk into a cup. So why wouldn’t the university ban all alcohol consumption while tailgating? Because the alumni clubs have something that gives their voices a little more clout over the drinking game playing students? You guessed it, the almighty dollar. The university wouldn’t dare piss off its alumni by taking away alcohol before football games. A disgruntled alumnus doesn’t donate money and the easiest way to piss off a tailgating alumnus is to take away their booze.

Do you have to play drinking games at a tailgate party to have a good time? Of course not. An entire university makes a wide sweeping rule banning drinking games at tailgate parties stinks of a knee jerk reaction to appease the politically correct crowd. Last time I checked this was still America where we are responsible for our actions. If someone is 21 or older and wants to play a drinking game while tailgating, he or she should be allowed. Unless all alcoholic beverage consumption of any sort is banned by a local ordinance, how can you ban the way in which you ingest a beverage? What’s next? Will beer bongs be banned from tailgating? Does that fall under a drinking game definition? What about shot gunning a beer? Is that a drinking game? The alcohol is being ingested rapidly but there is no game attached to the activity. Where does this slippery slope end?

So in the name of public safety and promoting a safer tailgating environment, Appalachian State University has also taken away the life lesson of personal responsibility. We as a society can not just pass laws, ordinances and take away freedoms one by one until we are no longer able to do anything. I am not comparing this new policy to communist Russia but I am saying we as a society need to be accountable for our actions. If someone is 21 and legally able to consume alcohol they should be allowed to consume any way they choose. If that includes a game of beer pong, anchor man, flip cup or any other drinking game so be it. They should be responsible for their actions and their decisions. Banning drinking games while tailgating won’t reduce binge drinking by underage college students. It very well may encourage the students to binge drink more heavily at their dorm or Frat house so they can maintain a good buzz in the parking lot. Either ban all alcohol or let people live with their own accountability and life choices.