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Alcohol Usage at School Events Spikes

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Is M-A cracking down on punishments for drinking? Recently, there has been more talk on campus about the usage of alcohol at school events following recent cases of students caught either in possession of alcohol or under the influence. Administrative Vice Principal (AVP) Nicholas Muys said, “We have noticed a spike in incidents. This was true at the homecoming dance and at more recent football games.”

M-A has undoubtedly seen a gradual increase in the severity of punishments following each new offense this school year. One anonymous student reported that they were escorted out of the senior night football game after being caught under the influence of alcohol. “I was expecting to get a call maybe a day or two after the weekend, but I didn’t get called in for two weeks,” they said. “A day before the final CCS game, I was called into the office and was told I wasn’t allowed to go to that game.” Similarly, another student was banned from the following two football games after passing out from intoxication at the Homecoming game and was additionally given a day of Saturday school. 

Following these two offenses, the first play-off football game was a clear attempt at combating recent drinking trends. On Friday, Nov. 17, Muys announced the new regulations that would be enforced at the game on M-A Today, promising breathalyzers, alcohol strips, and pat-downs upon entrance. Although it is unclear whether the record-low student attendance was a result of the drinking regulations or the rainy weather, the game demonstrated a result from the shift in policy leaning away from leniency toward alcohol consumption at school. 

However, the new regulations did not stop all students from drinking. At the play-off game, a student was caught in possession of alcohol and consequently faced a harsher punishment. They said, “I was caught bringing a can of alcohol into the first play-off game by hiding it under my jacket and had to be picked up by a parent. Afterwards, an AVP talked to me about my actions, and I was ultimately suspended for one day.” 

Muys said, “When circumstances change, and when we see an uptick in a behavior, we have to provide more serious deterrence. If you’re under the influence at a school event, you can almost always count on having some kind of suspension. The number of days may depend on a few factors such as quantity and degree of intoxication. But we try not to slice it too thinly—the bottom line is you should not be drunk or high at school or at school events.” Students can expect to see these anti-drinking efforts including breathalyzers and pat-downs at future school events, such as this upcoming basketball season. 

Muys also made it clear that M-A’s primary goal isn’t to get students in trouble, but rather to ensure the safety of both students and the rest of the community by teaching them to avoid situations that might put them or others in danger. “The lesson is to just be safe,” he said. “It can create really, really unsafe situations if you overindulge, as we have had hospitalizations as a result of alcohol and drug intake.”

One senior seemed to have learned their lesson after getting caught drinking at an event, saying, “I know the dangers of doing what I did. Having one night of fun while risking college and other stuff wasn’t worth it.”

Kitty is a junior at M-A and this is her first year of journalism. She hopes to write about events and culture at M-A and the community. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, and is on the dance team.

Avery Galles is a senior in her first year of writing for the Chronicle. She seeks out stories that highlight the state of student life on campus, including a recently-published story about drinking at school events. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, often at the beach!

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