Art by Kim Olsen

Homecoming at Binghamton University is already at a disadvantage when compared with similar events at schools nationwide. Our main weakness, of course, is our 46-year undefeated football team: it doesn’t exist. There’s nobody to come home, and nothing to really come home to. What’s the sure-fire way, then, to spice up a Homecoming weekend with no football team to rally around?

Beer, of course! Why not have alcohol on tap to loosen things up a bit?

Well, once again, the administration’s ridiculous prohibitionist attitude toward alcohol has limited what could have been a truly inclusive campus event. Alumni receptions can have alcohol, but legal-to-drink students cannot.

The message that sends is one of hypocrisy and illogic: the University refuses to allow of-age students to have alcohol at Homecoming, but is itself providing the beer for alumni. So when it comes to the weekend’s alumni fund raising blitz, the booze flows like the mighty Susquehanna. But if Joe SUNY wants a beer, he’s going to have to fend for himself. It’s effectively a big slap in the face to the students who think that Homecoming may have anything to do with them at all.

If the University’s giving out alcohol to entice its alums, why can’t beer be available, even for purchase, for the enjoyment of adult students? It would probably help things out, if anything.

Alcohol, in moderation, helps level the playing the field and foster a relaxed relationship of mutual understanding between students and teachers. Students who study abroad, for instance, always come back with stories along the lines of, ‘The attitude is so much more lax over there. I drank with my professor, and in a semester he got to know me better than a professor I’ve had twice here.’” Wouldn’t that be a great relationship for BU students and alums to have, too?

Allowing students to buy beer at an on-campus event would also likely reduce the amount of binge drinking that would go on later that night. Treating students maturely and allowing them to control their alcohol intake over the course of a day instead of over three hours at a party or bar will help them learn how strong their tolerances are. It would also help reduce the “forbidden fruit” appeal that beer has for students on campus.

And here’s a shocker: maybe more students would come to Homecoming – and Spring Fling and any other campus event – if there was the chance for us to pick up a beer and be treated like adults, instead of having to watch the University indulge its potential donors while we get the shaft.