An Adult?
Off the Wall, October 26 , 2017

Enough! I don’t know how else to put it. It seems that more and more college campuses are being faced with fraternities over indulging with alcohol to the point that students are being harmed or killed.

Maybe I should add this statement. Once one becomes twenty-one, is he or she stating to the world, “I’m an adult now and no one is going to stop me from drinking to the point of getting stoned.”

Folks, is this the way a mature person thinks, one who has conquered the bumps and bruises of adolescence to become a well-respected human being? In my opinion, the chronological status may be there, but there is no sign of maturity whatsoever. Logistics don’t even apply.

First of all, I have to state that I am not against drinking. My father used to enjoy a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon while watching fights on television. My mother enjoyed a glass of wine while dining. That’s all well and fine.

But for college students to demand fraternity brothers force down an exorbitant amount of alcohol for a hazing exercise to the point where the victim not only becomes drunk but in some cases loses one’s life all to try to get into an organization they deem so special is a sign to me, and I hope others, that these people are not adults at all, but children playing games with other children’s minds.

When I was in high school, there was rarely ever talk about alcohol. I recall someone telling me that parties happened at a certain classmate’s house. There the teens experimented with rum and coke. That was the worst “sin” one could commit back in the late fifties or early sixties.

When I entered college in the sixties, I remember one of my roommates used to go down to one of the local bars with his football team buddies and get plastered and return, staggering into the room and plopping onto his bed. I guess playing varsity football wasn’t big enough. Screwing up his brain and liver seemed to be a bigger deal!

A matter of fact, while I was attending my alma mater, during my senior year, I believe, the wife of the owner of that bar died from cirrhosis of the liver associated with too much consumption of alcohol. She did more than drink away his profits. She cut her own life short because of over indulgence.

Here we are in the teens of two thousand and there are no boundaries. People who are vying for memberships in colleges and universities are now going to extremes at the expense of others.

Now, I’m not just talking about the person being hazed, but what about the parents? Didn’t they shell out thousands of dollars to send these kids to college only for them to act like a bunch of juveniles? If these students are planning on paving paths to future occupations in life, should each act responsibly so as to appreciate the sacrifices that were made on their behalf?

I talked to one mother who got fired up when I mentioned that I was going to write a column on this subject. We both were in total agreement with everything that was said. Her son is presently attending an institution of higher learning. She related that her teenage son was ticketed by a “hallway patrol” individual who caught him indulging and received a ticket for it. She received a letter from the university about the citation. She was not happy, needless to say. I do not recall the consequences.

I was informed that the qualifications are high not only to get into one of these fraternities, but staying in it as well. Why then would anyone want to throw away his whole future by screwing up particularly this way? Does it make sense to commit jeopardizing acts to fellow students to such dangerous degrees that they would be tossing their parents’ money out the window?

We both agreed to the fact that there should be strict fines for those who are caught underage drinking, buying alcohol for minors and those found guilty of being in a drunken state. It is not only my belief, but also others with whom I have spoken, that students who plainly disregard another’s health by creating extreme hazing should be expelled from said schools of higher learning.

Better yet, maybe alcohol should be prohibited on all campuses. Now that would solve the problem right there, wouldn’t it?.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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