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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M’s Alcohol and Drug Education Programs redundant

One of the great things about college is having the freedom to make decisions about how you live your life. You don’t have to worry about your parents’ curfews or inquiries about where you are going. These decisions are yours to make, as they should be. After all, just about every student at Texas A&M is an adult who is capable of making his own choices, while fully understanding the ramifications.
Of course, there will always be someone to give you wanted or unwanted advice on your choices. Unfortunately, A&M is like one of those people who give you advice, whether you want it or not. It is also using your student service fee dollars to do it.
The Department of Student Life is one of the largest recipients of student service fee dollars on campus. The Student Service Fee Advisory Board has recommended that they receive $2,005,943 for fiscal year 2006. This department performs a number of functions on campus. One of these functions is Alcohol and Drug Education Programs (ADEP). According to documents obtained under the Texas Public Information Act, ADEP received $140,851 in student service fees to pay for employee salaries along with another $22,000 in student service fees to cover operational and programming expenses for fiscal year 2005, for a total of $162,851 that came straight from the pockets of A&M students. This amounts to roughly $4 per student.
We should get our $4 back.
As previously stated, we are adults. We are capable of making our own lifestyle decisions without the University telling us how much or what we should or should not drink, smoke or inhale. It also takes a reasonable amount of intelligence to gain admission to A&M. The admissions process here is very competitive and you must have strong academic credentials to get here in the first place.
We all know that drinking alcohol before we turn 21 is illegal and too much of it will make us sick. We also know that certain drugs are illegal and have harmful effects on our health.
We don’t need to spend $162,851 to remind us of these facts.
ADEP is yet another example of an A&M program that exists solely for the University to look good in the eyes of people who are obsessed with alcohol, specifically underage consumption of alcohol. The fact that these programs will do little to stop people from using drugs or drinking alcohol is meaningless. There are many students who have decided that they will not consume alcohol. This is a personal decision that should be respected. However, when a decision such as that is made, it is made for reasons other than A&M telling them that drinking too much alcohol is bad.
Every year, several thousand students receive a greeting card in the mail from A&M. This card commemorates the 21st anniversary of the escape from the womb. It also discusses certain activities that are usually associated with your 21st birthday. While it is touching that the University remembers student birthdays, this card will have little or no impact on celebratory activities. Those who want to drink excessively will do so knowing full well the negatives of doing so. The 21st birthday card programs accounts for $5,500 in ADEP’s fiscal year 2005 budget.
There are always going to be people who drink too much. College students have been drinking too much for a long time. College students have also been known to experiment with illicit substances. Again, this is not a new phenomenon. As much as A&M wishes it could stop every student from making bad personal decisions, it can’t. There is no sense in spending large sums of money to tell intelligent adults that making bad decisions is bad.

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