College officials wish to lower drinking age - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

College officials wish to lower drinking age

This summer, 115 college and university chancellors and presidents from throughout the country issued a statement denouncing the legal drinking age.

In a public statement titled the Amethyst Initiative, officials said the legal drinking age of 21 is not working. The education leaders, including President Frances Lucas of Millsaps College, said having the drinking age at 21-years-old creates a dangerous binge drinking culture on their campuses.

At The University of Southern Mississippi, officials said the university has no position on the issue. They said they believed the issue was up to the Mississippi citizens to decide. However, officials at USM said it was important to discuss the problems associated with alcohol consumption.

"The conversation about abusive college drinking is one is that needs to be had," said Vice President of Student Affairs at USM Joe Paul. "The incidents of abuse among college students have not decreased since the law changed in 1987. So, it's a worthy conversation. I think there is not a silver bullet, magic solution -change the age and the problem goes away. That's naive, but it is a problem."

For more information about the effort, log onto www.amethystinitiative.org.

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