College presidents: Lower the drinking age

August 19, 2008 8:54:03 PM PDT
The presidents of more than 100 colleges and universities, including some in the Philadelphia area, are calling for the government to lower the drinking age. It currently stands at 21 years old. Those presidents want it lowered to 18.

They say the higher age leads to dangerous binge drinking on campus.

The presidents of St. Joseph's University, Widener College and Arcadia College all signed up to lobby for the effort. But some groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driver call the proposal "irresponsible" and "dangerous."

That's how John and Theresa Ostien of Upper Darby see it. They lost their 18 year old daughter Kim to binge drinking at Neumann College back in November, 2003.

"I think if they do that, then I think what they're going to do is put the burden on the high schools, it's just going to move it right on down," said Theresa Ostien.

Her husband agrees.

"I think peer pressure has a lot more to do with binge drinking than the fact you have to be 21 to drink," John Ostien said. "So, I don't think that's a valid argument that the colleges have."

But the president of Lake Forest College, who supports the lowering of the drinking age, says students under 21 often go off campus to drink, which sometimes combines the dangers of driving while drunk.

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