By Staff Writer Tighe Ratcliffe.
College, a time to not only get an education, but also a time to learn how to be an adult. And what’s more adult than the ability to buy liquor? Well, paying taxes for one, but let’s not get into that scary subject at this time.
Town Liquors in Dartmouth is conveniently located 1.1 miles away from UMass Dartmouth, and is the go to place for all your party needs when it comes to alcohol. It’s the closest liquor store to our campus out of the half dozen or so stores within a 10-15 minute drive. But is this just a mere coincidence? I think not.
Many colleges, not just our own, have at least one liquor store that’s within walking distance from the campus entrance. This is great and all, nothing can beat that sort of convenience when you’re getting ready for a party or just want a 6 pack or small bottle of adult juice for yourself when you need to relax. But there’s more to this than just convenience.
The reason alcohol can only be “legally” purchased by adults is because if it’s misused, there can be serious consequences. Alcoholism, DUI’s, car accidents, and other forms of abuse are all too common, and some people just can’t handle having fun and being responsible at the same time.
For the most part, colleges are viewed as a consequence-free environment where adolescents learn how to care for themselves within the relative safety of a learning environment. And many students after leaving college are prepared to be responsible adults.
But everyone in college either has experienced or knows someone who’s taken things too far after a night of heavy drinking. For most of us, it was luckily just a few solid miserable hours hugging a toilet bowl, puking our brains out, and having a killer hangover the next day. Others though, aren’t so lucky. And when something tragic happens, it’s more than just one person suffering the fall out.
For many students, the first time they get exposed to alcohol is on campus during their freshman year. Most of the student body isn’t even legally allowed to purchase alcohol, but we’ve all learned a trick or two around that.
I’ve known several people who while under the legal age, have had fake ID’s and successfully bought alcohol from liquor stores. And everyone has that friend who’s legally allowed to buy alcohol who they would give money to so they could buy them something. It’s really hard to stop students who can’t buy alcohol from obtaining it.
Drinking is fun. That’s something we can all agree upon. But what isn’t fun is being taken advantage of for profit. If you look at Town Liquors Facebook page, you’ll see that many of their posts are about sales that they’re having on liquor. They call it their “Blue Light Special” and it’s something they do on a sometimes-daily basis where a bottle or two of liquor is available for $5 for a certain amount of time.
Usually it’s from 2pm-8pm, which is when most of us finish with classes for the day.
It’s a well-known fact that college students for the most part are broke. We have to scrim and save, and we usually buy the cheapest things possible. Companies and businesses know this and take full advantage of that. Often these products are not only cheap, but unhealthy too because they know we can’t afford quality goods. Heck, we even have a Wendy’s in our campus center, and when has fast-food been known to be the healthiest option? And alcohol isn’t known for being the healthiest of beverages either.
So when students are presented with the opportunity to have plenty of access to loopholes around laws, the convenience of liquor stores within walking distances, and regular sales on cheap bottles of alcohol, it becomes a no brainer. Of course we’re going to choose options like Town Liquors over the other stores. And in return, it’s a no brainer for stores like Town Liquors to open up close to college campuses because they know they’ll always have a good, continuous source of clientele. It’s a bit problematic.
If you walk around campus, you’ll notice empty beer cans, bottles of nips, or broken glasses lying around. It’s more than likely these came from Town Liquors, because so many of us go there. Not everyone has the same amount of respect and responsibility towards liquor as others do. And many people struggle with alcoholism start when they’re in college.
Taking that into consideration, it seems down-right wrong to operate a liquor store so close to a college campus. College students are already taken advantage of by the education system and government with ridiculously high student loan rates (ours are over 200% of what our parents payed). Corporations and employers seek us out because they know we have no other choice than to accept cheap wages and buy cheap goods. Why do liquor stores have to take advantage of us too?