The Voice

The time has come for Georgia College & State University to enforce the tougher stipulations to its punishment for underage drinking and vandalism. Change was inevitable, since the Student Judicial Board spent time on two dozen alcohol offense cases last year.

Something had to give. There has already been a dramatic increase in violators within the first two weeks of school, with nine alcohol-related cases and one vandalism case already reported to Vice President and Dean of Student Bruce Harshbarger’s office. Ten cases being heard already is scary and outrageous.

The editorial board of The Colonnade unanimously supports all aspects of these changes.

Before this year, the old sanction for student alcohol offenses was enrollment in a one-hour course called Alcohol 101. But a student could take this course Thursday morning and be right back at the bar drinking that night. Or, the outcome of each case might depend on who served on the Judicial Board for that day. There was no consistency to the old code.

With this new school year, a fixed set of punishments will be given. The new sanctions — a $25 fine, Alcohol 101, and one semester of probation — are all implemented on the first offense, regardless of the student’s class level. A second offense includes something no student would ever want-a call to the parents or guardian. This might seem to be an extreme measure, but in the bigger picture, parents are a student’s strongest supporter. They are always looking out for their student’s best interests. Parents intervening in a student’s life could stop what could become a life-altering problem, whether it be drinking and driving or
suspension from the university.

These new sanctions save the Student Judicial Board’s input to the final, third offense — suspension from school. These new
sanctions save the board precious time. Understand that two dozen cases regarding underage drinking or inappropriate behavior were heard last year, an exceptionally high number. But as Harshbarger said, “These standard sanctions will allow many of these cases to be handled in a more consistent and time-effective way so that other Student Code of Conduct and Honor Code hearings can be expedited.”

Georgia College & State University should be applauded for taking care of its students with tougher sanctions. It is hard to see where these new sanctions are not in the student’s best interest. Instead of harming students, it looks like GC&SU has yet again found a way to guide students in becoming adults by making us responsible for our actions.

Please feel free to contact The Colonnade in response to “The Voice.” Send your signed letter to the editors, and your voice will be heard.

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