Hot dogs and beer, or hot dogs and handcuffs?



Kernel editorial

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In the midst of all of the construction and commotion taking place on campus, students have become well acquainted with change. Within the last year UK has torn down dorms — and parking lots — in favor of building “modern residence halls,” creating a campus full of new safety features. UK may have a shiny new appearance, but we feel an innumerable amount of changes must be implemented internally as well. To accomplish this, the student body must speak out and the administration must listen — our voices must be heard.

Some of the major problems UK students encounter are alcohol-related, whether it comes at midnight when the cops bust student parties, or when the university contradicts itself by banning alcohol and then looking the other way when students drink and tailgate. It was only a year ago when President Eli Capilouto infamously banned student tailgating in the bowl on South Campus, forcing us to wonder what exactly we should expect from the university this year — hot dogs and beer, or hot dogs and handcuffs?

A change in the alcohol policy is essential for student health. In fact, a wet campus policy is our solution. It is time for the university, the administration and its police force to drop the inconsistencies and to stop endeavoring to protect us from ourselves. Though we dutifully note it is necessary to do one’s job, it must be done consistently. We must raise questions on whether or not the current policy fulfills the rights of its students. For instance, if a student 21 years of age wants a glass of wine with their dinner on campus, is it fair to deny them?

This is a college campus, yet students over the age of 21 have never been given the chance to drink responsibly. The only question is if we can do it safely in a protected area like the bowl or in the basement of a stranger’s off-campus home. No matter how strict or lenient the university plans on being, one thing is for certain: it is time for them to show trust in us.

Furthermore, the new security systems across campus have also raised our eyebrows. New student ID’s might require students to swipe into buildings after hours and several cameras will also be installed across campus. This includes cameras around Commonwealth Stadium where students generally tailgate. The purpose, of course, is to increase the likelihood of keeping students safe. But at what cost, and who is really paying for it? Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Though we appreciate the added security, we do not want to lose the freedom that college personifies.

These are just a few questions we plan on tackling this year. This is us. This is what we do.

As summer slips from our fingertips, however, and the fall semester kicks off, we welcome the Class of 2017 and all remaining students. Make this the year we let our voices be heard.