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Susquehanna Chooses Responsibility

Sept. 3, 2008

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – Susquehanna University President Jay Lemons has added his name to a growing list of college and university presidents who favor an informed debate about the wisdom of the 21-year-old drinking age through a national initiative called Choose Responsibility.

“Susquehanna, along with college campuses across the country, have been managing for years the negative impacts of alcohol use and abuse,” Lemons said. “We provide education to encourage good decision making, and discipline students who choose to violate institutional policy and local, state and federal laws. On Aug. 22, I signed on in support of Choose Responsibility because the issue is of great significance on college campuses all across the country.”

As of late August, nearly 130 presidents and chancellors of the nation's colleges and universities had signed the Amethyst Initiative, drafted by the nonprofit organization Choose Responsibility. The goals of the organization include empowering young adults age 18 to 20 to make mature decisions about the place of alcohol in their own lives, to help educators understand and deal effectively with the realities of alcohol in the lives of young adults, and to affirm parents to help them fulfill their parental role as their sons and daughters become adults.

“One of the unfortunate consequences of the 21-year-old drinking age and increased campus enforcement is that alcohol becomes a larger problem off campus,” Lemons said. “Whether the current drinking age of 21 helps or hinders efforts to develop in our students' good decision-making skills and a sense of responsibility for their own well being and that of their peers is an important question to be explored, studied and debated. This work creates space and structure for a productive dialogue, which I welcome and intend to participate in.”

Contact: Gerald Cohen


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