Does the alcohol issue top students’ interest

I want to thank my psychoanalysts and therapists for discovering my problems of sub-conscious, deep-seated fears and frustrations.

Many of my fans have have taken the time and thought to respond to a column I wrote concerning the allowance of minors into bars.

Wooo, I didn’t realize at the time I wrote the column what a controversial and thought-provoking issue it would turn out to be. As a matter of fact, the editorial editor, who is held to the task of reading each and every letter that comes in, has kept a tally, and she told me that I now lead the pack for the most hate mail per column.

The hate mail doesn’t bother me. In fact the whole purpose of a column is to provide and provoke facts and opinion. This particular column certainly reached that objective. It’s great to see students from an institution of higher learning get involved in the issues, isn’t it?

A friend was telling me during the weekend about a joke that comedian Jay Leno tells. He says he can make fun of the president, foreign policy or disarmament and people just sort of smirk. But as soon as he makes fun of a television program, people fly off the handle and get madder than bulls.

For this reason, I am not so proud to be the leader of hate mail for the aforementioned column. Even though Northern Star columnists have covered issues of national concern like abortion, foreign policy, the presidential campaign and drug use, the number one public response was to alcohol policy.

It’s certainly not very comforting to know that the top concern among students, who are supposed to be here as representatives of an educated population, is at what age we should be able to get hammered.

In rereading the column and its responses, I did a little psychoanalyzing of my own. The responses for the most part did not even stick to the main issue of the possible passing of a DeKalb ordinance to allow minors into bars.

The major complaints referred to a comment which called minors “peewees” and the statement that minors tend to “blow chunks” when they get drunk.

The major concern was that the references hurt people’s feelings. Their egos were crushed because I insinuated that the younger you are, the less alcohol you can drink before throwing up.

The legal issues fell by the wayside.

I’m not attacking anyone’s right to respond. That’s what free press is all about. I’m just sort of ashamed at the moral priorities of students of higher education.

I have talked to foreign students at NIU who know more and care more about the U.S. government’s policies and law than many of my friends and acquaintances. When there are students who don’t even know the first names of presidential candidates, it’s no wonder there are more letters to the editor about alcohol use than the presidential campaign.

Student voting levels tend to be the lowest in the country. Sunday I heard an advertisement on WDEK radio which really made me think, and I hope it does the same for other students and non-students as well.

The ad stated eight million people in Chile want to vote and can’t; 25 million people in South Africa want to vote and can’t; 81 million people in the United States of America can vote and don’t.

Voting is not only a privilege, it’s a responsibility. In this day and time, we, as students, ought to be more concerned about who will be in charge of this country as of January 1989.

Maybe students are more concerned about the alcohol issue for more personal reasons, but this should be no excuse for the lack of opinion on more important world issues.

All I know is, it looks as if students could spend a little more time reading the news and less time counting the number of beer bongs they do before passing out.