College Presidents: Let Them Drink Younger | NBC New York

College Presidents: Let Them Drink Younger



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    The presidents of 100 colleges and universities signed a statement calling for a debate on the drinking age and are in favor or lowering it.

    For the beer-bong-bedecked college student: a break-through.

    Underage college students across the nation have bemoaned the drinking age since states raised the age in 1984 -- and now they have the backing of their college and university presidents. One-hundred college and university presidents have signed a statement calling to debate the drinking age.

    "How many times must we relearn the lessons of prohibition? Adults under 21 are deemed capable of  voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer," the statement says.

    The drinking age was raised from 18 to 21 in 1984 when Congress passed a transportation bill that said all states with a drinking age below 21 would be docked 10 percent of their federal highway money. Consequently, all states independently changed the drinking age to 21.

    School officials are hoping to create a dialogue about drinking and repeal the transportation bill, which is up for re-authorization next year. National surveys indicate that the majority of the public wants to keep the drinking age at 21.