Bridgewater State: From Alcohol to Prison
When you head off to college your first year, you are beyond excited to start a new chapter in your life. There are brand new freedoms that have been trivialized and shoved in your face by movies and television for as long as you can remember. You can’t wait for new friendships, your inevitable tiffs with your roommate, and of course, one-night stands in a living space your parents don’t occupy. The typical college life desired by the average 18-year-old comes with a fair amount of risk and potential danger, but you’d think a prominent university founded 174 years ago would be well equipped to handle such debauchery. At Bridgewater State, this is not the case.
Freshman year at BSU, you will live in one of two residence halls. Both of these halls will be equipped with a self-entitled non-cop devoid of a personality or a heart. They check your ID, they check your belongings, and they check under your “baggy” sweatshirt (the legality of this is questionable). Am I visiting uncle Antonio at Attica Correctional? No, I’m checking into the dormitory, where I live and pay more than I should to do so. What is the meaning behind this breach of trust and personal space brought on by the 24-hour security? It’s all in the name of thwarting 18 and 19-year-olds from
sneaking weapons bringing alcohol into the dorms.
What’s worse is that this policy is straight up abandoned at all upperclassmen dorms. So, if the lesson all along is to scare these freshmen away from drinking at this institution of higher learning, there is no real way to follow-up to make sure their impression of Joseph Stalin has had any impact. While they instill some fear in the freshman, the others (read: the other 99%) have one option if they wish to partake in the “thirsty Thursday” they have heard so much about: sneak in hard liquor. This creates 2 problems – one, hard liquor is much more difficult to handle than beers, and effects most people much differently. And two, the policy basically forces residents to binge drink the alcohol they had to sneak in. Getting caught with alcohol is near sudden death – two strikes and you’re kicked out of BSU… I think? Who even knows, their policy is so unclear it’s like shooting fish through a barrel of concrete.
If it feels like I’m dwelling too much on their alcohol policy, that’s because it’s the only policy they care about. Great example: my MacBook was stolen from my dorm room sophomore year (along with other items that didn’t belong to me). There were several witnesses who saw a group of people leaving my unattended room with bags, and even identified them to both resident “assistants” and campus police officers. Was there anything done about this? Of course not, because the thieves weren’t drunk when it happened. There was never a follow-up with a police officer or campus official about this matter, despite it being a $7,500 heist, which I would consider a pretty high-profile crime for a college campus. However, alcohol “violations” can have up to 4 meetings and hearings, just for being in the presence of an alcoholic beverage. Why is so much time and effort being put into such a non-issue in a college setting? It is truly baffling.
Listen, I’m not saying Bridgewater State is some really awful school whose rules are reminiscent of those created by a Communist leader of a country during World War II (damn, I really did say that earlier), but where they choose to spend their time and waste their concern is truly misguided and down right unintelligent. But, full disclosure, I had about 6 Sam Adams before writing this article, so take it for what it’s worth.