Thursday, 19 July 2007

When Did Universities Become Above The Law?

It has long baffled me (with two degrees, and about to resume employment by a university) that universities are effectively regarded as exempt from the drug laws, and that illegal drug use is regarded as wholly excusable if it took place while one was at university. That is certainly not how these matters are addressed with regard to people the same age who, moreover, are expected to get up in the small hours in order to pay for heavily subsidised student bars that they may not enter. I find that baffling, too.


  1. I have only browsed your comment re. Russia but from the jist of it I am puzzled as to why you are unable to post it on CiF. I had heard there are problems when trying to post from external editors like Word and I presume you would have posted here first... therefore using an external editor. I may be wrong however.


    I don't think that it is accepted
    that the use of drugs, whatever form that may have taken, is acceptable if it has occurred in the dim and distant past at university. But rather I feel it is accepted, even amongst the most conservative of persons, that a person can act in a manner that they are regretful of and have learned valuable lessons from as a result of that experience. I think that to be a good thing as it widens the individuals life experience and enables them to make more informed decisions.

    For example, George W Bush, reformed frat boy, drunk, convicted of possession of a quantity of cocaine (not the sort of quantity you would consider "personal'), repented and remorseful and then taken into the hearts of the American Christian right and elected. Twice.

    If I drive recklessly and crash soon after passing my test at 17 do I continue to drive recklessly? Or do I thank my lucky stars and take more care in future?

  2. By all means let people show remorse for long-ago indiscretions, and be allowed to carry on with their lives.

    But universities really are treated as if the drug laws did not apply to them. This is certianly not how people the same age are treated, people who work to pay for universities, including for the dirt-cheap students-only bars in universities.

    I wouldn't open up those bars to the public, any more than I would open up the bars of gentlemen's clubs or workingmen's clubs to the public. But I would make them charge at least the sort of prices that one is expected to pay in such establishments, by taking away their subsidies from the taxpayer.

    "It was a long time ago and I was very young" is one thing. But "I was at university" is quite another, and simply not good enough at all.