Posted by Chris Potts | Posted in Ethics, Higher Education, Thoughts | Posted on 08-20-2008
So many of you may be aware that in the past several weeks there has been an age-old nationwide debate re-surfacing regarding lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. This time, however, colleges and universities are squarely in the middle of the debate as there is a petition circulating among collegiate presidents, urging federal and state lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age.
I was surprised to read the other day in the Indianapolis Star a summary article about this, where Butler’s president Dr. Bobby Fong came out in strong support of this measure and has signed the petition – much to the chagrin of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and some other organizations (see: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080819/BUSINESS/80819011 for the full story).
I don’t know enough of the facts and haven’t thought about this enough yet to form my own rational opinion. But my question is: should colleges & universities be on the leading edge of this national debate, and if so – how (if at all) will it affect what we do as recruiters?
Clearly there are numerous implications should the drinking age actually change from 21 to 18, arguably the most noticeable differences being seen on college campuses; I suspect that is why many college presidents are weighing in. But I wonder if any college or university who publicly supports (or voices opposition against) this proposal will suffer the consequences in public image? If this is true then CLEARLY this will impact recruitment efforts.
Our Director of Admission has recently warned us that we may get calls and/or e-mails about this Indianapolis Star article, and so we are attempting to get a formal statement from our Marketing and PR folks about how to handle such contacts. I am curious to see how this all develops over the next couple of weeks and months – and welcome any comments from you, the readers of this blog.