It perplexes me when I hear on the news that the huge college bash “block party” was pretty much held in control with a number of arrests and fines. This fete of civilitywas brought about by having more police using other than the town’s usual local forces but by incorporating a number of forces, paid for by state grants and funds. Hmm. Now I can guess their residents are glad as the parties past have required armored vehicles and such to bring about order. Now I don’t want anyone being injured or even at risk of such. However a few things come to mind.
College is basically about acquiring more knowledge and learning how to use that knowledge. For years we have heard that colleges are seeking the best and the brightest- hence the college applications and requirements to get in as well as looking for diversity and being well rounded as people. SO with that in mind, would it be asking too much to think maybe ,just maybe there young “adults” also possess the control and wisdom to not be so out of control that they need disrupt a community? Could they be counted on to be safe…to monitor themselves and others with them?
Now I am not saying that this is something new…college “kids” blowing off steam. But with so many years of being able to do this without being so dangerous as to require law enforcement to monitor the happenings, why must it be taken to such an extreme? Yeah, everyone knows about Spring Break in southern beach towns where the alcohol flows along with sun and “fun”…and as we come to know not surprisingly that there are any number of crimes, some violent, that occur. I guess I do understand these kids wanting to let their hair down. Back in the day, we wanted to as well. And of course for as long as there have been humans ,there have been those injured , killed even by poor judgement. I suppose it should be expected that when people set out knowingly to be “blitzed” that their behavior leads to costs to others, foolish behavior.
I guess then the question is why party time, release behavior need be something involving loss of control. That seems to be the goal of people participating in these types of events. I know they have had to be disciplined and responsible in order to accomplish academic goals. I know they have to work hard to afford it ( Well some people do.). I know relationships change and living in situations they never had to live in before with relative strangers often all add to different stresses. Money management and doing their own laundry and cleaning is a new thing for some of these people. But if these are our best and brightest, don’t they understand that some level of control is needed just because it’s a requirement in being alive- and staying alive? Is that asking too much?
As a resident of this state and in a time when so much is not possible fiscal budgets , projects are cut due to lack of funds. But we must create enough of a fund for this? I think not. I think if the behavior is that awry then maybe it’s time to call it a day for such a tradition. I’m all for fun. And I am not objecting to use of alcohol- but I feel that going beyond one’s tolerance or self control is probably an unreasonable rite of passage. We don’t even know the number of poor choices, disease, pregnancies, rapes that occur at these events. But if there is one , that is one too many. it is not okay to use alcohol use as an excuse for acts of rape. It is not okay to shrug at a youth becoming infected with a venereal disease that may cost them their life. With behavior being more lax during these intoxications then chances are such safety precautions are left at the wayside during these blow outs.
For generations people have wondered what the key is to teaching that a true release can be a celebration being a positive release. It can be going where someone is so much worse off to make a difference for them that they will realize how minimal their problems and pressures are compared with survival issues, shelter issues, food crisises.
There are so many ways to release other than getting out of one’s mind using substances. There are acts of beauty, art and music and athletics. This is something that falls on adults. As much as we want to point at tv,Hollywood leading the onus of normal, it is in our choices our young look towards. SO we need provide positive examples. And perhaps instead of providing extra safe guards we could raise the bar to better expectations. No I don’t think that is unreasonable. I don’t think anything gets to excuse a human being from having to be aware of life (his or hers and others lives). There has to be a reasonable level of expectation. It should not have to be policed to the extent of reinforced police.
I suppose what I find unreasonable is the acts of destruction endangering themselves and others. I strongly am opposed to violence using alcohol as an excuse. See the same people paying the taxes that provide for grants that go to education so you can be employed into the careers of your choosing are also paying for the protection that your choice of acting incompetent cause. That is not fair or right. Seems to me that there has to be a better way. Maybe I do not have the answers or suggestions that would improve this but does that mean we should stop looking. Not everyone will respond to a more positive environment, options allowing for other choices- but some will. I’d sooner see my money used on that. Perhaps it will be valuable enough to make a long term impression on someone’s heart.