|Dear Chancellor Kirwan, |
I write to you on behalf of the University System of Maryland Student Council (USMSC). As you know, the USMSC has represented the voice of USM students on issues ranging from tuition, to access, to accountability, to diversity for many years. While we work primarily on pressing academic and financial issues, we often address health and social issues facing our peers across the system. In pursuing a first class education from a USM institution, students must confront challenges not only in the classroom but outside it as well. We believe in the value of openly discussing these often controversial issues.
Among the most widely known challenges facing colleges and universities today are "binge drinking" and alcohol consumption in general. As students, we are forced to address this issue on a regular basis. Binge drinking is a problem on campuses nation-wide and poses a serious threat to student health and well-being. It is clear that colleges and universities must take steps to educate their students about this problem and understand that the key question at this time is not how to prevent drinking on campus but rather how to effectively manage it when it occurs.
At the October meeting, the Council took up Amethyst Initiative which is supported by several USM leaders. After some discussion, the Council voted unanimously to support the ideas and objectives outlined by the Initiative. We applaud your courage in seeking solutions to this problem and we stand with you in confronting it on our campuses openly and honestly.
We look forward to working together with student leaders and administrators from all of the USM institutions to understand the causes of this problem, its effects on the campus, and effective ways to support each other in our efforts to take on this challenge. It is vital that we all work together in solving this problem.
Thank you for the work you do on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of the USM every day.
David J. Walker
Chairperson, University System of Maryland Student Council
The writer is a senior History and Government major at Bowie State University.