Field of Science

Student involvement in local politics is great!

Don’t you love it when students, especially Political Science majors, get involved in local politics?

Let’s see what troubles
David. The city “increased the underage drinking ticket dollar amount from $250 to $275.” Well, I can understand his concern. How do you justify a 10% increase? That does seem to be excessive, although prices are rising all over. Have you checked the price of beer lately? Oh, as a freshman, David probably isn’t old enough to be in liquor stores, so it’s hard to see how this affects him at all.

David wants to “Make a change in the way students are treated” [in our city]. “We can stop the town from making more ordinances that negatively affect us.” Well, you can certainly understand that. OK, there was the increase in underage drinking ticket fine, what else? Oh, yes, the town requires purchasers of kegs of beer to register their address, and “police will now have a list of all the parties in town.” OK, I agree this is kind of big brotherish, but why am I not too worried? First, I hate to tell David this, but finding most student parties is pretty easy, which is why I question the need of this ordinance. You turn your head, listen for any blare that can be heard more than 10 or so blocks away, and there you go. Even though I will have to register whenever I buy a keg, I doubt the police will bother me because I won’t be buying 20 or 30 kegs, a sure signal to most law officers that here is party that will get out of hand. Here's a hint: know the names of everyone at your party to minimze trouble with the law.

David’s conclusion is hard to argue with. Ordinances on underage drinking and regulation of keg parties, which lead to the former, certainly negatively affects students, and they don’t negatively affect the rest of us because we don’t break the law. Yes, it would be nice for David if the drinking age was 18 again, along with registration for the military draft, but all of this has been changed. Still for David, I would consider bringing it all back, although the beer in the military has always been bad. Still with the student penchant for lite beer, maybe 3.2 beer won’t seem so bad.

Now I might suggest to David that how the city treats students is based upon years of experience, and since he’s new, David wouldn’t know this. For example, here's another ordinance that negatively affects students. The reason you can’t have cushy chairs or couches on your front porch or in your front lawn is because it led to the spring, end-of-semester ritual of dragging them all into the streets and setting them on fire. No question this was festive, and enjoyed by many, unless you were sleeping on the couch (yes, that happened once). Personally, this ordinance has never been a problem for me as my furniture stays in the living room where it is guarded both day and night by sleeping cats.

I will suggest that if David gets his beer discretely, and has parties with only 10 or 20 of his close intimate friends, instead of 200 to 300 passers-by who pay to get in, I think he’ll find that no one cares and these ordinances won’t have a negative impact on his activities either. But if David thinks our current pretty mellow mayor, who is up for reelection, is a prig about drinking, and a thorn in the side of student fun, well, he might want to ask his opponent what his more uptight Christian attitudes are about underage drinking. Even a political science major can figure this one out.

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