Prohibition didn’t work, either

Editorial Board

The University of Iowa recently banned smoking and drinking in its residence halls regardless of the age of the resident. ISU officials say a similar policy will not be adopted here, but Iowa State already has one in the alcohol-free Veishea pledge. A smoking ban is different from an alcohol ban. Most smokers would agree that with the smell of cigarettes and the cost of repairing smoke damage, it is reasonable to ban smoking in university buildings. Smokers also have alternative places to go – a smoker can step out the door and have a cigarette outside. Students can’t simply step outside the residence hall to have a beer after a hard day of class without violating the city’s open container laws. Officials who claim a drinking ban in the dorms will lower the university’s liability should rethink that claim. It is a far better situation to have students drinking in their dorm room rather than in a bar or off-campus where they may drink more and be encouraged to drive home. You can argue all you want, but it is true that if something is forbidden, students will be more likely to do it and bend the rules. If they ban cheese in the dorms, there are going to be people smuggling in Singles. Underage drinking is usually cited as a reason for banning drinking in the residence halls. While most students living in the residence halls are under 21, there are a few dinosaurs who remain in the dorms until their junior or senior year. These people have the right to consume a legal substance in their place of residence. Rather than adding more rules and regulations, university officials, the Department of Public Safety and the police simply need to enforce the existing alcohol laws. Simply, anyone under 21 should not be drinking alcohol. Period.