| 03.18.2018

UI tasked with safety, responsibility


University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis announced the creation of two university task forces Thursday — one to address policies and programs regarding substance abuse and the other dedicated to examining the university’s relationship with fraternities and sororities.There is a stigma that surrounds college students and their drinking habits, a stigma that is even worse when it comes to Greek life. This negative perception exists for a reason.
A study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse found a student’s choice of residence is a dominant influence when it comes to drinking behavior, and students living in fraternities and sororities consume more alcohol more frequently than students living in residence halls or off campus. While this is a nation-wide trend, UI students don’t have to follow suit.
It’s important that we see these task forces for what they are — important and beneficial steps to be taken in order to address the problems that may exist on campus.
Part of the college experience as students is transitioning into the role of responsible young adults. This includes active participation in the examination of our campus culture, looking for areas of weakness and taking strides to improve. Even if we are one of the top 35 safest residential universities according to Newsweek, there are always areas in which we can become better.
These task forces aren’t commentary on our campus culture nor are they implying there is something wrong. Rather they are seeking to improve what is already great. Fighting against positive change initiated by the task forces will only propagate the stereotypes we are trying to oppose.
Whether you are Greek or live in a dorm, residence hall or off campus, let’s take this opportunity to work together to bring a new level of safety and responsibility to our campus.

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