Special Reports

Time to get tough

The alcohol problem here is particularly evident with a large university in a small town. There are solutions but all must be involved. Our colleges need to get tough to see major progress.

I propose that all bars close by midnight along with the following:

For a first minor offense of consuming or possessing alcohol under age, hurting someone or damaging property, the student receives a written warning from the university and completes 20 hours of community service work on campus, receives a disciplinary form in their academic file, notice sent to their parents and a $100-$200 fine.

For a second minor offense of the same — with no damage or injuries — the student is automatically removed from the school for a semester, plus another fine.

For a third minor offense the student may never return to the university.

For a first major offense that does involve injury and/or property damage, the student is automatically removed from the school for a semester, paying for any damage. If the student already had a minor offense the school may remove he or she permanently.

For a second major offense the student is permanently removed.

All incoming freshmen should be required to complete a several session class on alcohol and drug use, school rules, local municipal and state rules regarding such matters. And local towns and police departments should be required to report student warnings and arrests for such offenses to colleges with the same penalties applying so they can't avoid the rules merely because they were caught off campus.

James Steamer State College