University debates over dry campus policy

Students learn it for the first time in Freshman Orientation – Missouri Southern is a dry campus.

The student handbook states the Substance Abuse Policy at Missouri Southern “prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees in the workplace, on college property, or as part of any college activity.”

However, not everyone is sold on the idea, and students have long debated the issue.

Kristin Lacy, international business major, believes the alcohol ban could lead to other problems, such as an increase in drunk driving.

“I think that Southern having this policy is good in some ways but I worry that it protects Missouri Southern while putting students in danger.”

“Students do go out and get drunk, and they should always be safe about it, but I know that when I go to a club and almost everyone there is drunk that some people there are not going to be leaving with a designated driver,” Lacy said.

Candace Clouse, sophomore marketing major, agreed.

She said forcing students off campus to drink just means they’ll have to drive elsewhere, whether it’s someone’s house or a club.

“I don’t think [our dry campus status] is a good idea,” she said. “When students want to drink, they should just be able to do it on campus where they know they are already safe. If the campus sends them away to drink then they are that much more prone to being in an accident coming back to campus.”

Senior marketing major Erin Stafford said modifying the policy could benefit the University.

“I think [Southern] should be a wet campus, but only for the athletic events,” she said. “If we had alcohol at the games, it would bring in more people, plus it would boost concession sales.”

On the other side of the issue, the alcohol ban gives some students a greater sense of security.

“I feel safe in the dorms because I think the environment is just better than it would be if that was not the policy,” said Austin Ahles, freshman biology major.

Adam Hinspetter, sophomore kinesiology major, also supports the policy.

“I think a dry campus is still the safest way to go,” he said. “But students don’t follow the rules.”

Hinspetter said students know the policy but still choose to use alcohol in the residence halls.