A group of education officials are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age to 18. The Amethyst Initiative , is made of more than 100 chancellors and presidents in higher education, who contend the 21-year-old drinking age is not working.
The only Wisconsinite to sign their name to their public statement is Ripon College President David Joyce. Joyce reflects back to the Vietnam era when 18-year-olds could drink but not vote. Now the reverse is true and young adults still face a war.
“Fast forward twenty some, thirty years later and the same people can go fight for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan but can’t legally drink a beer. There just seems to be some disconnect we need to look at and reexamine.
Joyce emphasizes the Initiative is not advocating drinking but rather opening dialogue to approach the issue in a “pragmatic way.”
The group says the current age requirement creates a hidden binge drinking culture on campuses and does not allow potential solutions, to issues like drunk driving, to be discussed.