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Archive for Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Police aren’t the only ones in Lincoln battling underage drinking, out-of-control parties

Greek community, student body, landlords all play a role

University of Nebraska-Lincoln senior Matt Pederson looks over a map of the university's 32 Greek living units on campus with Linda Schwartzkopf, the university's director of Greek affairs. All fraternities and sororities at UNL have agreed to follow the university's no alcohol rules, which they say has resulted in cleaner and safer living conditions.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln senior Matt Pederson looks over a map of the university's 32 Greek living units on campus with Linda Schwartzkopf, the university's director of Greek affairs. All fraternities and sororities at UNL have agreed to follow the university's no alcohol rules, which they say has resulted in cleaner and safer living conditions.

March 9, 2010

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Lessons from Lincoln

There is a perception in Lincoln, Neb., that people will be held accountable for exhibiting irresponsible drinking behavior.

Despite cheap drink prices in Lincoln, bar owners say they do their part to prohibit college students from over-indulging.

Despite cheap drink prices in Lincoln, bar owners say they do their part to prohibit college students from over-indulging.

Wild party complaints

Lincoln police say the number of party disturbances they’ve responded to the last several years has gradually decreased. They say it’s a direct result of the Lincoln community’s proactive approach to combating high-risk drinking among college students.

  • 2005 – 1,862
  • 2006 – 1,813
  • 2007 – 1,479
  • 2008 – 1,238
  • 2009 – 1,061

Information from Lincoln Police Department

— As Matt Pederson stood inside the main area of his well-kept campus fraternity, he gasped when he learned two Kansas University students died last year in alcohol-related incidents.

"That would never happen here," he said, raising his eyebrows.

It’s unusual to hear about such alarming problems with alcohol at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. That’s because in the last 10 to 12 years the community and university have taken a broad-based approach to combating at-risk drinking among college-age residents. In fact, student leaders here boast about never having lost a student to alcohol on their campus.

"We're very proud that we've never had an alcohol-related death and we're doing everything we can, from every angle we can, to prevent that from ever happening and to maintain our good record around here," said Megan Collins, UNL student body president.

University and community leaders say their track record has come as a result of a lot of work from this town of 250,000 people, where there are rules and strict consequences for everything.

The message that dangerous alcohol consumption won't be tolerated is clear and has become commonplace for the people and students of Lincoln.

"We found overwhelming support from the citizens of Nebraska for taking on this problem vigorously," said Linda Major, assistant to UNL's vice chancellor.

Major has been one of the leading forces behind the community's efforts, which began more than a decade ago. Those efforts have reduced crime, self-reported binge drinking rates among students, and neighborhood complaints.

University leaders aren’t alone in trying to tackle the problems of binge drinking among UNL students. Though their ideas met with resistance early on, the university now is assisted by landlords, bar owners, police, student leaders and city officials, who realize their combined efforts are paying off and saving lives.

Taking control

Tyler Mohr sat on top of his Lincoln bar, his feet propped up on a booth beneath a huge sign displaying his drink specials for that Friday night, including 50 cent Natty pints; $1 shots; $2 Crown, Goldshlager and Jack drinks; and $2 32-ounce draws.

Despite his cheap drink prices, Mohr said he and other bar owners do their part to control high-risk drinking problems in Lincoln.

"We make sure that our employees know that they can't over-serve and we kick people out if they're getting rowdy," said Mohr, of Main Street Cafe on O Street.

Bar owners know the risks of being ticketed for serving someone who is already intoxicated or underage, both which are illegal in Nebraska. And because law enforcement can walk inside their bar at anytime - something the cops in Lincoln do at least twice a week - bar owners know they must control the atmosphere in their establishments and ensure their workers aren’t serving people illegally.

But it goes a step further.

The owners also have a monthly meeting with Lincoln police to identify and address problems they're seeing among their crowds, before they get out of hand.

Beware the party patrol

When the bars close at 1 a.m. in Lincoln, some college students like to continue the party. But they must do so carefully.

They’ve learned to fear the Wild Party Patrol. It keeps them on their toes, because they never know when it might be out and about.

Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady says the patrol is one of the biggest successes stemming from the decade-long plan aimed at curbing high-risk drinking among college-age students.

Several officers load up in a van and travel around to off-campus student neighborhoods. Unannounced, they bust underage parties.

They don't just send a few officers in to make the kids scatter. Instead, a large group of officers keeps the students at bay, writing tickets to minors in possession of alcohol and arresting tenants for maintaining a disorderly house. If they're throwing a beer keg party, tenants also are cited for selling liquor without a license.

Police then turn the information over to the media, which publishes and broadcasts the names of the violators, providing a bit of embarrassment for those involved.

Tenants held accountable

Some of Lincoln’s landlords have also gotten tough against those who throw house parties, by holding tenants involved in the activity accountable.

John Bussey makes it clear to his tenants — and includes in their leases — that they'll be fined $500 if they're caught having a party or violating occupancy requirements.

"When we're actually showing the place, we mention this fine, we mention the occupancy requirements, and the people that were looking for a party house realize they're better served going elsewhere, which makes everybody happy," said Bussey, of Capital Rentals.

He said it's rare he gets a call from police in the middle of the night about a party at one of his 200 properties and he doesn’t hesitate to take action against tenants.

The police chief says the efforts from officers and landlords has had a major impact for the community, reducing party complaints 43 percent during the last five years, from 1,862 complaints in 2005 to 1,061 complaints in 2009. He said it's also resulted in cleaner neighborhoods and less secondary crime, such as fights, vandalism, sexual assaults, robberies and even murders.

"If you can reduce those parties as significantly as we have, or at least the out-of-control parties that come to the attention of police, you've had quite the impact," said Casady.

Comments

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm not getting the point of these stories. Change "Nebraska" to "Kansas" and "Lincoln" to "Lawrence" and you can print these stories in the Lincoln newspaper.

pfunk81 4 years, 9 months ago

Minus the fact that NU has had no alcohol related deaths, and the cops in Lincoln bust up any get together of any kinds within minutes, yeah its pretty much the same story.

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 9 months ago

Why write these stories? Because Lawrence has a drinking problem and is looking for ways to get its arms around that problem. Lincoln had a similar problem 10 years ago, created a community-wide plan and now has seen GPAs increase, alcohol-related hospitalizations and alcohol-related deaths decline. If Lawrence is looking for a model in its approach to dealing with a very real alcohol problem, Lincoln is one possibility.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

John Hamm 4 years, 9 months ago

SRJ Not hardly! I've lived in the student "ghetto" you wouldn't believe what it's like in there - and elsewhere any more. Time for the local Police to crack down - forget KU they'll never see the light about student drinking and it's consequences until the administration gets hit in their personal money belts some day.

hooligan01 4 years, 9 months ago

I think these stories need to incorporate how they are related to Lawrence in the story if they are going to be posted on here. Otherwise it leaves the reader clueless as to their purpose one here.

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 9 months ago

Hooligan--

I guess I don't see what's missing. KU has a greek community, student leaders, house parties, landlords, etc. ad nauseam. Any approach taken in Lincoln in this story could be emulated, duplicated or changed to fit the Lawrence community.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Graczyk 4 years, 9 months ago

@OonlyBonly I think KU is conscious of the problem. They instituted mandatory alcohol education classes for freshman. They also wanted the right to search dorm rooms with probably cause, but could not secure it because the Student Senate wouldn't pass it. (Am I remembering that last part correctly?) Anyway, the students were up in arms about their right to privacy and how they should be treated like adults.

What I am trying to say is that I think KU is trying, but can only do so much by themselves.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 9 months ago

"When the bars close at 1 a.m. in Lincoln"

Anyone pick up on that?

DrRustinMcGillicuddy 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry Jonathan, but if I wanted to read news about another town, let alone another state, I would frequent their site instead of coming to LJWorld.

But I do think posting stories glorifying one town's partying tendencies over another's is not only trivial but misleading. Stats may say that GPA's are up, but there are many confounding variables to a situation like that. A student partying is a student partying, whether they are in Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland, or Spain. They're still twenty-somthings that have tendencies to do things that older, more mature adults more than likely will not do. Insinuating that students in Nebraska that like to party after 1 do so much more responsibly than those that attend KU is ludicrous.

ksjhawk503 4 years, 9 months ago

So, not only is the Lawrence Journal-World making a judgment call that two alcohol-related (related being the key in one case) deaths represents a systematic problem with alcohol use. But, the writer is also making a judgment that Lincoln has effectively solved alcohol-related issues and is a model of what Lawrence should become. This story talks to the police chief, bar owners, university officials and the student body president. Do we really expect them to air out their dirty laundry? Of course they're going to make themselves look good. Where are the real students, the real townspeople? If you talked to the same people in Lawrence, you would have had the same story, other than the two deaths. This story is a joke...

Please write about things happening here that affect people here.

And who really expects someone among the ranks at the LJ-World to do anything but defend it's infallible work...

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 9 months ago

ksjhawk503--

Statistics don't lie. Look at GPA, look at alcohol-related hospitalizations, look at rates of sexual assaults. They're all down. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying anyone has "solved" the problem, but I think Lincoln has definitely taken steps down the road.

Further, if you don't think Lawrence has a problem with drinking, I'd tell you that you have your head in the sand. The city has said it. KU has said it. The hospital has said it. And now we're saying it as well. That's a long list.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 9 months ago

DrRustin--

I don't think this series glorifies anything. In fact, I know it doesn't. The idea is to show how they made progress in cutting back on partying.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

leapinlemur 4 years, 9 months ago

I, for one, have no problem with the story itself and it even seems as if the whole plan is being carried out in a rather benevolent way in Lincoln.

However, it's hard for me to accept any solution that involves "police state"-level supervision of the activity of adults. (Skipping over the incongruity of allowing 18-year-olds to smoke, rack up huge credit card debt, vote, buy into the "stupid tax"/lottery and fight/die for their country... but not drink!)

Freedom means allowing people to make their own bad decisions and I understand that, sometimes, those bad decisions end up being their (or someone else's) last. I am all in favor of proactive education and harsh punishments for those who cause harm to others but cannot support the types of law enforcement activity that is based entirely on potential, not actual, harm and risk.

NOTE: I am really not one of those people that believe all authority is corrupt but I do believe that it is only prudent to limit the scope of law enforcement officers' duties in this way; otherwise, the line between police and judge becomes more blurry than it needs to be.

Oh, and don't get me started on the fine line between legal consumption of alcohol in a public place versus public drunkenness! It has always sounded a lot like a form of entrapment to me and it just doesn't make any sense to me that drunkenness should be a punishable offense in and of itself. Whatever happened to judging people based on their actions? I'm sure there's a correlation to several more legitimate offenses -- DWIs, domestic abuse and a big etcetera -- but the total set of people who would qualify as "publicly drunk" is far bigger than those who end up doing anybody any harm but themselves when they wake up the next day and the vague nature of that law just leaves far too much wiggle room for enforcement purposes.

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 9 months ago

"Anyway, the students were up in arms about their right to privacy and how they should be treated like adults."

If they acted like adults, maybe this would have some validity.

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 9 months ago

Uh yeah, cause there isnt an underage drinking problem in Lawrence lmfao.. Might want to address the problems here before we go printing stories bashing other towns..

Jeremiah Jefferson 4 years, 9 months ago

Uh yeah, cause there isnt an underage drinking problem in Lawrence lmfao.. Might want to address the problems here before we go printing stories bashing other towns..

Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 9 months ago

Catfish--

Not bashing Lincoln at all. In fact, we're saying that they've figured something out that we hope Lawrence can learn from.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

laika 4 years, 9 months ago

¨Further, if you don't think Lawrence has a problem with drinking, I'd tell you that you have your head in the sand. The city has said it. KU has said it. The hospital has said it. And now we're saying it as well. That's a long list.¨

Jonathan, I like that you have jumped in on commenting on these articles, but it raises the question in my mind: are you simply reporting the news, or are you and the LJWorld offering up an editorial prescription with this series? I understand that this could just be a series of stories that outlines what other similar cities have done to deal with drinking issues. But, when you say to readers they have their ¨head in the sand¨ if they don´t agree with the papers assessment of the situation, it seems you have left the realm of reporting and entered into the world of advocating and persuasion.

It is your opinion (or the LJWorld´s) that this community has a drinking problem. it could very well be true, but should it not be up to readers to decide that for themselves, once they have read a non-biased factual reporting of events? If we are skipping over that part and offering up solutions, it seems like this is some type of quasi-editorial story series about underage drinking in Lincoln, Nebraska. Personally, I don´t like to have to use the qualifier quasi to describe newspaper articles. Opinion in newspapers should be clearly delineated from reporting, at least IMHO.

Also, I have got to play the devil´s advocate here. Lawrence is not Lincoln, NE. It sits ~45 minutes from a major metropolitan area in a state with some of the most liberal liquor laws in the country. Missouri liquor laws are so much more liberal than even Kansas´s that Lincoln style reforms could be a shot in the foot move.

For instance:

No statewide criminal prohibition on public intoxication, as well as a provision forbidding local jurisdictions from enacting criminal public intoxication laws.

3:00 AM bar closing hours in St. Louis, Kansas City, and their surrounding areas;

No prohibition on consumption by minors (although purchase, possession, and intoxication by minors is prohibited); (Just set the bottle down when the cops bust the party)

And even a unique in the nation law that allows open containers in public in the Power and Light district.

While these might have some undesirable effects, for somebody looking to drink and do so conveniently and without ¨big-brother¨ oversight, they are appealing.

Lawrence has problems, but if it were to go all Lincoln you could probably bet on an increasing number of tax dollars heading over the border. I know you can´t party on gameday in Kansas City, but there are about 40 weeks of the year that probably aren´t gamedays. Just something to think about in a city that has already seen sizable amounts of its sale tax base siphoned off to Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas City, KS Olathe and Leawood.

peacock 4 years, 9 months ago

i am well above age, and have parties with my friends for birthdays, holidays, or just to get together and enjoy life. i NEVER let underage people drink at my house. i make sure people don't block my neighbor's driveways, and i keep the noise to a level that won't disturb people. if i had a van full of cops roll up to my house and bust in because i was having a party and they started asking for id's i would be SERIOUSLY irritated!!!

living in a police state will NEVER solve any problems. the whole story was actually really creepy to me....

lainey 4 years, 9 months ago

If anyone gets offended by reading about a town that is trying to make a difference then talk to the parents of the students who died from alcohol related incidents. Lawrence bars are famous for serving people no matter how drunk they are. Look at the sheriff's website and the amount of arrests for driving under the influence and other alcohol related crimes. Many of them are on their 2nd or 3rd offense and they haven't even reached legal drinking age. I have never heard so many people laugh about getting DUI's then in Lawrence. So if you want statistics contact the police department or collect your own by observing the behavior of patrons of bars and watch how many get in cars when they can't even walk straight. If you don't think a police state is the answer then work on a better solution.

Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 9 months ago

One thing needs to be clarified. The Greek community in Lincoln has seen the light on drinking. The Greek community in Lawrence needs to emulate them. I found it interesting that Sigma Phi Epsilon was used as an example as they have a program that emphasizes creating better men. I found the photos of booze in the SAE house in Lawrence to be disgusting. Step one to getting a decrease in alcohol related issues is to enlist the Greek community. The second step would be to get the slumlords of the student ghetto to give a d amn about their property.

gr 4 years, 9 months ago

Is alcohol legal or not? Or is it legal based on one day older than the day before?
But, is it a hazardous substance or not. Seems a little hypocritical.

Yeah, I know, we get tax money from the people who destroy themselves. But don't you think all these underage drinkers can see through it and say it is either good or bad and surely the authorities wouldn't make something legal which is bad for you, right?

That's the problem. They are young kids and are susceptible to believing such things.

Scruggsy 4 years, 9 months ago

A van load of cops pulling up to a party, basically surrounding it and writing tickets to everyone, and arresting the tenants. No mention of hard drugs or any other illegal activity except underage drinking. And some people think this is a great idea? My God, are you serious? What happened to 18 being an adult?

How about education, parenting, advertising restrictions maybe instead of storm troopers kicking in the door of a keg party? Man, I am glad my teenage/ college years are well behind me...

Vic 4 years, 9 months ago

Scruggsy,

It's that's hands-off mentality that has let this problem get out of control. If these people are adults, they are responsible for their own actions and therefore the consequences for them. However, when the community sees alcohol related deaths, there is a need to step in as some people are just too irresponsible. This article gives an example of how a community has stepped in and taught their own students the responsibility they need. They are not ending drinking or partying, just attempting to enforce responsibility.

alm77 4 years, 9 months ago

Jonathan,

I think it's great that you guys are doing this series, however, it does seem that perhaps what's evident to you, isn't as evident to everyone and should have been presented in a convincing way to readers. People aren't interested in solving a problem they are not convinced they have. Did I miss an article that contained this convincing argument that we have a drinking problem?

I'm not disagreeing with your premise, but like the other readers, I just haven't heard a lot community outrage over our the fact that "Lawrence has a drinking problem". Maybe you should have interviewed some people from AA or collected a few paragraphs about the most recent and tragic alcohol related deaths. What about ER statistics on those coming in for alcohol poising (I do think I remember that a while back)? Or drunk driving statistics here in town (and not just the ones that run over pedestrians)?

The audience just isn't convinced.

Scruggsy 4 years, 9 months ago

Vic- I disagree 100% that cops busting up a party and arresting the tenant is going to solve drinking deaths... Hmmm... We better drive out to the woods out of town and throw this kegger where the cops won't find us. Then we'll drive back to town and hit the Bell drive thru! Great idea!

IMO the answer is in teaching kids personal responsibilty and maturity... Not more of the "its someone else's fault' mentality.

christy kennedy 4 years, 9 months ago

First of all, thanks for the article. And Jonathan, anybody who doesn't get it or thinks it's about bashing NE is just not reading words in the right order.

Obviously, addressing the excessive amount of underage drinking here is long overdue. I've lived in a student neighborhood for over 20 years and have watched the partying — and there's nothing wrong with having a party — the changing trends, and the little, if any, intervention by an under-staffed police department and a university that seems to think that "not on university property" means not their problem.

At its worst, I have stood in my driveway and watched maybe four hundred mostly-drunk kids, solo cups in hand, milling around our street and corner. When the street is full of people on foot and some are actually stumbling and falling down and others are hopping into their cars and driving off, veering fast around those on foot, I'm truly afraid someone else will get run over. Once when I called 911 to describe such a scene (plus kids sitting/yelling on my front porch, others smashing bottles in the street, others peeing in yards, one kid staggering along by himself and vomiting on the sidewalk) the dispatcher said (I'm not making this up) "And you are calling because? . . . "

I repeated that I was afraid one drunk kid might run over another drunk kid, and multiply that by a few hundred, and would they please send some officers over (knowing full well that dispersing a crowd of drunk people can be even more dangerous thing to do).

So ONE patrol car arrived and parked by my house. Kids scattered in all directions. Some hopping fences to hide in back yards (not typical of of-age drinkers). The officer sat in his car for a good long while and then finally got out, walked into the crowd, and came back with two girls. They were both crying and he was holding their solo cups full of whatever. He put the girls in his patrol car and they sat for a while and then (I'm not making this up either) a limo pulled up and he put the two girls in the limo (somebody called daddy?) and it drove away. Then the officer actually got back in his car and drove away slowly — as if "my work here is done"?—and the remaining several hundred kids continued milling around in the street, all with drinks in hand, while others in cars managed to dodge them.

cont.

christy kennedy 4 years, 9 months ago

During the first week of school last year my son was approached in our driveway at about 2 a.m. by a freshman who had just moved into one of the Daisy Hill dorms. He had no idea which direction to go to get back there and he had taken on the task of navigating for himself and three other kids he barely knew and who were so drunk they could barely stand.

We've called LPD and KUPD when we've found a student alone and passed out in the snow (it was 5°). We've called when a blind drunk person (this has happened twice) is dead sure that they are home (at our house) and they are pounding on the door and walls and screaming that we should let them "the F*CK IN." We have called when two girls could not carry a passed out friend. I called when three kids could not convince their blind drunk friend to not drive (he ended up leaving his jeep up in our yard and then disappeared and it took so long for an officer to arrive that one of the friends came back and drove the jeep off the sidewalk and down the hill back onto the street). And we have called when there are actual fights or beatings going on (multiple times). For some reason over the years, I guess because of a lack of an enthusiastic response from anyone, actually, I have been conditioned to wait for actual or imminent violence or injury before calling and that should not be the case. Somebody, some thing bigger than a concerned neighbor, should be have some eyes and ears out and should do something about this.

LPD has its hands full and when I asked later about the one officer showing up I was told a little about their staffing. There was just ONE guy available at that moment and at most other times, unless something really horrific happens. And KU can hand out all the policies they want, but with a new crop of newly away from home freshman every single year and instant communication letting everyone know where the just off campus parties are, the crowds of underage drinkers will not change without some form of intervention.

For at least the beginning and the end of the school year — the annual and expected excessive outdoor drinking seasons — there's gotta be additional officers to address at least a portion of the underage and open container violations. I don't know what's gone on between the university and law enforcement in the past, but they have to come up with and follow an actual plan to monitor and reduce underage drinking and public drunkenness.

cont.

christy kennedy 4 years, 9 months ago

Our two oldest kids have gone to school in Providence, RI and Madison, WI. God knows that for some at UW, drinking seems to be their major, but the city enforces an open container ordinance on public property and in Providence the partying seemed to be, for the most part, kept inside of residences.

We're just weeks away from warm nights and finals and I hope everybody stays safe but I've lived here long enough to know things will not change without KU, LPD and landlords stepping up in a major way.. For the many, many partiers we've witnessed just outside our door so lacking in judgment, self-preservation skills, and concern for others, I hope something is done quickly.

Vic 4 years, 9 months ago

@ LarryNative

Record DUI arrests mean that the cops were actually out trying to enforce this mandate from the community. I would wager to guess that our police force would put up new numbers on DUIs and similar drunken charges if we had such things in place.

@ Scruggsy

You have a point in that if the kids can't party in the city, they will find some place. It's true. I've seen it myself. However, enforcing this in the city is a major step forward in deterring the out-of-control drunken parties that result in alcohol-related deaths. It is not going to prevent these kids from going out but it will help control it as, especially around here, the vast majority of these type of parties occur within the city limits.

alm77 4 years, 9 months ago

See there? Sounds like you should have interview Christy Kennedy. ;)

Christy, it must be a pain for you to have to put up with this, but I just want to say "thanks" for taking care of these kids. I'm guessing no one has probably ever said that to you before.

DrRustinMcGillicuddy 4 years, 9 months ago

I think Lawrence has more of a hit-and-run problem than a drinking one.

Denny2009 4 years, 9 months ago

Jeez this article is rediculous...what does van loads of cops storming an underage party do to curb a drinking issue? Or cops checking on prices at bars, seriously?.. Our cops have more to deal with. This is the problem with today's society, everything must be policed, ticketed, and most of all cost the offenders $$. Its all about money nowadays. You think Lincoln is upset they had so many dui's in 2009? Nope, because they are getting the $$. Its sicking..all of these tactics to combat "underage drinking" is a money making scheme.

What ever happenned to parenting, knowledge, maturity, knowing limitations, making intelligent decisions on your OWN? Young adults today possess none of those and its partially their fault and partially how they were brought up. Nobody looks out for one-another anymore, nobody cares for one-another, but the times have changed. Im glad my college days are over becuase its just getting rediculous with this police-state mentality.

lainey 4 years, 9 months ago

Larry Native: Actually there are many that are students--it's easy to figure out look at the age and their home addresses and local addresses. But go ahead and live in a fog

alm77 4 years, 9 months ago

" Our cops have more to deal with." Denny, did you know that the way NYC cleaned up Times Square was by enforcing the tiny laws? They wrote tickets for jaywalking and made businesses keep their storefronts up to code. They didn't just tell loiterers to "move along" but ticketed them as well. Criminal Justice studies show that enforcing cleanliness and dealing with the "little things" often deters bigger crime.

irunsowhat 4 years, 9 months ago

As a college student that has grown up in Lawrence, I can say for a fact that the LPD and KUPD do not do enough to effectively curb the drinking problem in this town. Checkpoints and saturation patrols are always set up when students are out of town. Why? Do they not want to do the amount of work that would result from doing it during a weekend when the bars would be full?

Yes, the police come inside the bars downtown to do quick checks, but so many kids are getting away with fake IDs it's not even funny. Parties rage on even though there were two unfortunate deaths last year. Cops show up at these parties and tell everyone to leave. No punishment. Landlords don't care, becaue they'll get to keep the deposit at the end of the year if the tenants trash the place. They aren't losing out on anything.

Go ahead and bash the LJWorld for publishing these stories (granted the two were basically identical...just combine them into one) but the community needs to see that if Lincoln can do it, so can we. The drinking problem among college kids in Lawrence is out of control.

If you want an example of the college life that goes on, I highly suggest listening to Ira Glass's radio piece about Penn State being the #1 Party School in the country. Every bit of that story reminds me of KU.

Vic 4 years, 9 months ago

@ LarryNative

I know well how dropping the hammer youth can straighten them out. Both my brothers have been nabbed for alcohol-related violations. To say the least, they are now a lot more responsible with their drinking.

The issue is these kids think they are bulletproof. They are free of mommy and daddy and can do what they want. With something in place like they have in Lincoln, these kids would get a harsh dose of reality, and few things in life are more sobering than harsh reality.

christy kennedy 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks, alm77. We've helped out in a few situations but mostly we just watch and worry.

Amy Bartle 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope the Journal World seeks out members of the New Tradition Coalition of Lawrence to get their response to this story and also find out ways that this group is helping curb the drinking. Charles Branson, our DA is a member. So are parents and representatives of local business owners, health agencies, and KU representatives. Some of the policies put in place in Lincoln seem like they are effective. I'm equally concerned about the drinking/drugs that starts in junior high and high school. I know the New Tradition Coalition has spoken at some events on campus. It might all just be lip service though without actual alcohol-free polices/rules to back it up. When I was in college, the sororities were prohibited from hosting or attending any function that served alcohol. So our formals and mixers (gasp) were alcohol free. I think that this policy limited acceptance of drinking at the functions and made the sororities that had this policy appear classier.

Vic 4 years, 9 months ago

@ LarryNative

My "mommy and daddy" comment was directed at college students in general. I should know. I used to be one. But feel free to continue to pick and prod at my arguments. You are just making yourself look more like a fool or a jerk, whichever you prefer.

livetocook 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't know about everyone else on this thread but, I've been waiting with popcorn in hand to hear a response from jkealing on laika's post (March 9, 2010 at 10:41 p.m.)

Alm77, You're cool in my book, too.

manONmoon 4 years, 9 months ago

These articles are ridiculous. If you are attending KU then you are at least reasonably smart. We all know the dangers of binge drinking, christ we are 18-22 yrs old and 21+ if we are at a bar. If I want to get excessively drunk and then have my friends take me home where I can pass out until 2pm the next day then I should be able to. If they do anything they should try to stop drunk driving my increasing checkpoints not making it so we can get drunk. All you old conservatives who never had a day of fun in their life should not be able to govern the rest of us.

livetocook 4 years, 9 months ago

manONmoon- You may have made yourself an open target. Just a heads up.

Let the flood gates open!

alm77 4 years, 9 months ago

ManON, I'm not going to disagree with you as long as you're willing to take responsibility for your actions. However, there are instances where your liberty (and by 'your' I mean whomever, not necessarily you) infringes on mine. For example, imbibing until you have alcohol poisoning and going to the ER takes away from those in the community who need those services for unforeseen or accidental reasons. A heart attack victim shouldn't have to wait 'cause they are working on some drunk college kid. I'm sure you would agree that the instances Ms. Kennedy cited are problematic. Drink as much as you want, but don't be a nuisance the rest of the community when you are drunk. Personally, I think Lincoln has gone too far, but there has to be some middle ground here.

Casey_Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't know about everyone else on this thread but, I've been waiting with popcorn in hand to hear a response from jkealing on laika's post (March 9, 2010 at 10:41 p.m.)

Agreed.

maclothier 4 years, 9 months ago

Alm -

Unless that person's heart attack was the result of life-long dietary and lifestyle choices which were the result of their own "liberty"!

My problem with the articles is that Lincoln's "results" are all statistically-based, which is fine. But if these statistics are supposed to relate to Lawrence (though the articles give little indication within them that they are), then how about some comparable statistical data, showing how much better Lincoln is ten years into their program than Lawrence is today? Perhaps that "connective" article is forthcoming, but at this point it seems as if Fray is just holding up Lincoln's data and saying, "See!" without making any pertinent, factual connections between the two towns' predicaments other than "drinking problem", which is a bit too vague for me.

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