More Keggy

Commentary from Friday’s University of Kansas Daily Kansan deserves quoting in full:

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Students who consume alcohol hurt students, damage property, violate essential ‘rule of law’

By Matthew Dunavan

Guest Commentator

Alcohol consumption at college is not a laughing matter, even if people at Dartmouth College think it is. Recently, the college ditched its mascot in search of one that people would find less offensive. Many different mascots have been paraded in front of fans at Dartmouth sporting events, most with lukewarm reception.

One unofficial mascot entry won the acceptance of a large number of people in the stands. His name? �Keggy the Keg.�

�Keggy� looks like an enormous beer keg with arms, legs, and a face painted on the side. According to their college paper, The Dartmouth, his creators intended him to be entirely unacceptable, but fans, including two 8-year-olds who asked for his autograph at a ball game, can�t get enough of him.

Dartmouth�s lighthearted search for a campus mascot shows a dark side of college life. At college campuses all across the nation, alcohol is a normal part of the college experience.

Alcohol has disastrous effects on people�s health, especially in the large quantities most college students are used to. You would be a rare college student if you could say that you never had to clean up after a drunk person or put another person in the place of cleaning up after you.

People under booze�s influence are frequently dangers to themselves and others and cause untold amounts of property damage each year.

The part of the issue that troubles me most is one simple, often-overlooked fact: College alcohol consumption is mostly illegal. Most students on this campus are between the ages of 18-21. It�s not a shock that underage drinking goes on here. Fake ID�s are confiscated every night of the week at local bars, and many more pass undetected by bouncers who don�t know or don�t care that they are fake.

Rule of law is the backbone of any democracy. When a majority of citizens expresses its will through a legitimate legislative process, we create a system of laws by which we are all expected to abide. Democracy involves the recognition that proper government comes from the expressed will of the majority with respect for the rights of the minority. Any law validly created with this process should be binding on all persons in the society.

It is hard to defend the idea that the minority is able to break a law whenever it feels like it, especially when no great value like justice is on the table. Yet that is exactly what is practiced when an underage person takes a drink. In an age where the word �patriot� is starting to become a compliment again, legions of young people unthinkingly attack the very fabric of their country.

Cheryl Mills, a presidential lawyer, argued before Congress that rule of law applies to the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, and the powerful and the powerless.

�You cannot only love it when it provides the verdict you seek; you must love it when the verdict goes against you as well,� Mills said.

It is impossible to claim to love democracy while spitting on the process that causes it to work. No one who loves America and its democracy can violate the laws of our country without good reason.

And as far as Keggy goes, it�s time to kick him and the college life he represents to the curb.

Dunavan is a Topeka senior in political science and philosophy.

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Comments here, although KU students seem to have done a good job responding to Mr. Dunavan in the comments section of the main article page.