Glorified drinking has no place in the Vanguard

Two recent articles in the Vanguard, (“Lucky socks, undergarments and superstition” by Rose Richard, Vanguard, Oct. 3 and “Drinking games add competition to inebriation” by Michael Cooper, Oct. 4), confirm that the Vanguard has adopted a motivating editorial theme – binge drinking as a respectable hobby for students.

Rose debuts her lucky ‘party socks’, becoming so drunk that she needed to visit the hospital; Michael admonishes us to ‘be responsible with your drinking’ as a footnote to an article that describes games which promise near-constant drinking.

Both of these articles have a very simple aim: to glorify and praise abusive and dangerous drinking habits. The reader is clearly supposed to admire Rose’s ability to poison herself and to laud Michael’s thorough scholarship into excuses for drinking. These are war stories that one might expect (and perhaps shall, if the articles are obeyed) to hear in AA meetings – not the (sober?) reflections upon student life that they both purport to be.

Both the articles indicate, either directly or indirectly, that drinking “is a part of college life.” But on what grounds is it to be included and praised in the college newspaper? These articles are a slap in the face of the students at PSU who consider themselves to be attending a university, not a finishing school for drunkards. What student could show these issues of the Vanguard to their parents without shame?

Worse, these are not atypical articles lost in the vast sea of the Vanguard’s sober and tasteful editorial choice. Over the past few years, I have often read other similar articles by Rose Richard – articles that focus on the party attended, the beverages consumed, the substances absorbed, and never for a moment add anything substantial beyond mere battlefield journalism: “There was a party. I drank and vomited”. Rose appears to be preparing to publish a tell-all account of her junior year in high school – foisting her early drafts upon the Vanguard.

Additionally, each year the Vanguard deigns to ‘review’ a selection of local drinking establishments – reviews whose primary function appears to be to reveal how much the staff of the Vanguard drank and how much they might be tempted to drink in the future. Again, the application of both of these veins of iniquity to PSU student life eludes me – are we to commiserate with the often-spewing Rose and admire the stoicism of the Vanguard’s collective liver?

O Editor of the Vanguard, why this emphasis? Why this puerility? Why this posture? You are doing a terrible disservice to the overwhelming majority of PSU students who demand and deserve to be depicted as diligent students and responsible adults.

Bruce Crevenstensenior, mathematics