EDITORIAL: Dance debacles lead to excessive changes

By The Beacon | April 6, 2011 9:00pm

(The Beacon)

By The Beacon's Editorial Board

After the debacles at Dance of the Decades this year, CPB is rolling out some new reforms for future dances.

Students under the age of 21 who wish to go to Dance of the Decades next year must be breathalyzed and blow a .00. Students 21 or older cannot blow above a .08. Also all students will have to take the chartered bus to be admitted into the dance. CPB is also canceling the homecoming dance next year.

It is completely understandable for CPB to revise its student standards due to the events that took place at the Dance of the Decades, which included students being sent to the hospital, detox and back to campus. Students were issued MIPs. Not exactly model behavior.

Requiring underage students to submit to a Breathalyzer is justifiable, as they are not legally of age.

We believe requiring students to ride the bus to dances is a good idea. It will no doubt substantially reduce or even eliminate dance attendants' drunk driving.

However requiring 21-year-olds, who are legally allowed to drink, to blow a .08 before they step on the bus to get shepherded to the dance is unreasonable.

CPB's intention to keep students safe is commendable. But the idea that students who can legally drink and could go to any club in the city despite being above a .08, would have to blow below that before getting on a bus to be driven to a dance is overkill.

Though these measures will certainly reduce the drinking problems Public Safety and CPB have to deal with, it will also considerably reduce ticket sales and substantially increase the amount of time students will spend waiting in line to get on the bus.

Students who are legally able to drink will just go out with their friends to a bar or club before they'll subject themselves to this charade.

CPB backs up this measure by pointing out that 20 percent of UP students who filled out the survey about Dance of the Decades would approve of Breathalyzers. Because fewer than 1,000 students took the survey, this response came from only 200 students. It isn't a large number for CPB to enact such a drastic change.

CPB is replacing the homecoming dance next year with a concert and has requested $17,000 for this event.

A concert is a new and exciting idea, and it can include more than the 1,100 students homecoming accommodates.

Plus, the concert will be free for all students and will no doubt be a successful and inclusive event for the campus so long as CPB gets a good band.

We know CPB is trying to keep students safe, but the measures they implement should not discourage students from attending events.