Letter to the Editor: We should not endorse drinking

In response to “Taxi Reform” published in the Sept. 14 issue of “The Maroon”

Salvadore A. Liberto

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Dear Editors of the Maroon,

I was disappointed with your choice of a front-page story in your Friday, Sept. 14 edition. The usually excellent work that you do to inform and edify our community was lacking in your odd lead story and especially its first sentence, which starts with “Drunken rides home from the Quarter….”

 From your choices on the front page, I infer that: 1. You are glorifying a culture of drunkenness; and

2. You assume that this is what is top-of-mind among students.

 I talk to many Loyola students who are turned off by the assumption that drinking must be a part of their social lives. Many see any promulgation of that culture on our campus as an obstacle to success. Many of them take advantage of the excellent alternative programming offered by Student Affairs and the many efforts of faculty, students and staff toward the Ignatian goal of well-balanced living through retreats, academic research, involvement in student leadership, service and focused advising and mentoring.

 I understand that the literal point of the article was to tell students not to drink and drive, and that the writer was concerned about the expenses incurred by taxi drivers from new regulations. This is commendable. But “The Maroon” has now, at least symbolically, reinforced to our students the acceptability of frequent drunkenness. That is not good for our students’ chances of success. It is not good for how we perceive our university, and how others perceive us. I understand “The Maroon’s” desire to report the facts as it sees them, but the assumption made here is that excessive drinking and college experience are compatible.

 For many, they are not.

 Each year, as is well documented by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, many thousands of students fail out of American colleges because they cannot balance their drinking with required academic tasks. Worse, many students jeopardize their health and safety by excessively taking part in this often glorified but seldom fully-reported culture.

 Respectfully, these are the cautionary tales that should be told in the name of our collective goal – a greater Loyola.


Salvadore A. Liberto, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost. 

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