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“Relax,” Brian Goldman tells us in his recent column. Instead of covering the actual problems with our alcohol policies, he makes a few vague assertions that rest on binge drinking being an “integral aspect” of Hey Day, Spring Fling and Homecoming and a certain enforcement policy failing the “common-sense test.”

The tragedy with poorly informed, poorly substantiated drecks of argumentative-style nonsense like these is that they ignore the real issues with Penn’s alcohol policy. They are not the Penn Alcohol Module or off-campus party enforcement.

They include, rather, the problem that our legitimate Greek life institutions are being wedged by dangerous off-campus drinking and drug abuse societies (otherwise known as “off-campus fraternities and sororities”) that can hold parties for far less than the cost of complying with Penn policies; the problem that the present alcohol policy is more honored in the breach than in the observance; and, yes, I’m going to say it, the problem that people — especially freshmen — who are still learning their limits are being forced through peer pressure to overconsume alcohol and other drugs. Especially pledges, both legitimate and illegitimate.

Penn is doing its level best to forestall that tragic and, we pray, avoidable day when another student dies of substance abuse. What we need in this debate are fresh ideas that address the real problems, not vague paeans to “drinking is fun.” That it may be, but repeating it helps no one.

Alec Webley
2011 College graduate and former chairman of the Undergraduate Assembly

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