Two College Kids Walk Into a Bar: Reflections on Bar on Campus

By Kim-Vi Sweetman

Elm Staff Writer

When I first was told to write an article about a bar being put on campus, I thought it was a joke. Seriously? Aren’t there enough in the surrounding area? Then I heard that it was a SGA bar, and that the president of the SGA was trying to get the bar installed. Oh boy. I wonder what Public Safety has to say on the matter. It’s not like we don’t hear enough about the drunken misadventures of students every week in the Elm (if you actually read that one little column). So, how would this work? Would you be able to get a meal exchange for a drink, or maybe just use your dining dollars like we do at Java George’s for coffee? Would the prices be competitive with that of local stores to make sure that students stay on campus?

Maybe I’m being a little harsh. After all, an on-campus bar would provide a secure, safe, ID-checking place for legal drinking age students to get a drink. Any time of the week. Students wouldn’t have to wander down the dark, suspicious streets of nighttime Chestertown. They wouldn’t risk being harassed, or sometimes more as that one lovely little column tells us. Public Safety would no longer be reporting on underage drinking misadventures and how one or more students were threatened as they tried to walk back to campus at night. Instead, it would be underage drinking misadventures and how they had to walk drunken students back to their dorms. Well, maybe not all the time. I’m sure there are some responsible drinkers here on campus.

Guilty pleasures. We all have them: watching a certain TV show when no one’s around, chocolate and/or sweets, a video game, sleeping. I have to wonder why the word “guilty” is in the phrase “guilty pleasures.” It implies that there’s something wrong.

What is it about making something illegal that makes people want it more? Why is it that too often people can’t look beyond the initial “no” to the reasons for the “no”? All they see is a line, and they want to see if they can cross it without suffering the consequences. Granted, a lot of alcohol commercials show cool young adults enjoying some drink or other. They focus on what a drink or two can do for you right now, provided you only have one or two drinks. Then, when the flip side of alcohol is presented to young adults (teenagers), the tendency is to scoff and say, “That’s not going to be me,” or, “Well, I’m not going to get caught.” We do it with a lot of things in life, some small and some big.

I digress. I’m supposed to be writing about this bar that someone apparently wants on campus. Since this is the first I’ve heard of it, I have to wonder if there will be any sort of student involvement. Will students be able to have a say in the matter? Hopefully this won’t be a place where only alcoholic drinks – and water – are served. If this is supposed to be a center for student activity, I hope that it will cater to the many different types of students on this campus. Most underclassmen can’t legally drink, and even within the upperclassmen, I’m sure there are those who don’t drink as much – if at all – as their peers.

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