“Drunk Runs on Campus…”


“Drunk Runs on Campus…”

We peruse the C-Park L list from time to time and this little tidbit popped up.

One of the parking and transportation managers for a major university is beginning a late night bus service. She is noting that it will most likely turn into a “drunk run” and was asking if there are any ideas for fine tuning the program to run on a specific schedule or make it an “on call” service.

When discussions like this come up, I always think of “en loco parentis.” In place of the parent. Just how much responsibility does a university have in replacing the parenting that ends the moment the folk’s car disappears around the corner from the dorm at the beginning of the freshman year? Personally I think that turning almost eighteen year olds loose by themselves with no supervision is looking for disaster. Sure you watched over them every moment while they were in high school, but now, they are on their own with siren calls of parties, beer busts, and good looking young men and women. WOW.

Most schools now have boys and girls (men and women) living on the same floors in the dorms. “Lockout”, where if you didn’t get back to the dorm by a certain time you were locked out until morning (this gave everyone and excuse to get home) is a thing of the past. And the social pressure of keeping the drunks in a few “well known” frats and the glare of house mothers that could stop a fullback in full gallop are, too, gone with the buggy whip.

Now we are thinking it’s a good thing to provide a bus service for drunks. Or the late night bus service just becomes, by definition, a bus service for drunks.

Granted when I was in school Darwin was writing his books and some of the pets were baby T-Rexes but I don’t remember the binge drinking and the social disasters we see today. Sure there were parties. But most of them were more legend than fact. Our practical jokes amounted to rerouting Sunset Boulevard through the campus on Friday night or painting Tommy Trojan at USC a nice bright shade of blue and gold. No harm, no foul. There were a group of crazies and the rest of us just made sure that they were “over there” and we were “over here.”

You got drunk once, got very sick, and then didn’t do it again. Now it seems a way of life.

OK, sermon over – but what is the responsibility of the university? Here’s what I think, for what it’s worth. Boys and Girls in the dorm should live on separate floors, if not separate wings, if not separate dorms. The opposite sex should be allowed on their floors between 2 and 4 on Sunday, with mucho supervision. Binge drinking should not be tolerated. Period. Hey, by the time you are juniors or above, get a part time job, get a roommate and get an apartment if you don’t like the dorm. At least by then you have grown up a bit, and have some guidelines to keep within. Of course you will stray from time to time. But at least you know when you have strayed and where to return after you wise up.

As for the drunk runs, I would run scheduled busses for people who need to ride them. If a drunk gets on and as long as they are civil, so be it. If they create a scene call a cop.

Just sayin…


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. From one of our staff members — JVH
    We’ve heard of teens binge drinking and then dying – granted few – but none the less, if it’s your child where does the college liability begin and end? That scenario may not happen, but how about the teen breaking a leg on his way back to his room after being dropped off by the ‘late night bus run’. When ‘attorneys’ say we can get your medical bills paid or whatever, is it the responsibility of the university to permit intoxicated teens on the late night bus – or does the driver contact the police?
    Those who do have legitimate reasons to be on campus may need the late night ‘security’ bus service, but permitting ‘blottos’ on board is an issue I would have the university attorneys resolve not the bus driver. On call bus rides may be the way to go with attorneys and police standing by.
    Just sayin… back

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