PIKE’s PEEK: Indulgence an inevitable truth

Daniel Pike

Students Against Destructive Decisions this week released the stunningly obvious results of a recent survey about the behavior of high-schoolers during college-campus visits.

According to the SADD Web site, one in four teens reported engaging in some form of nefarious delinquency during overnight stays.

First, any parent naive enough to relinquish care of Junior to some guy named Trent for even a few minutes deserves to wash vomit from Junior’s boxers. Second, the only shocking aspect of the survey is that the numbers don’t seem all that high – especially when many folks on this campus probably are right now.

It’s insane that such a study was commissioned and financed. One of life’s few accurate stereotypes is that of the college student as drunken and looney, often – but not always – at the same time.

Considering that many high- schoolers romanticize the college lifestyle, it’s wholly unsurprising that a fair number of them pull a Trishelle during their few hours of freedom at Old State U.

Case in point: Last week, a bunch of us Herald types wandered to Dallas, Texas, for the national convention of the Associated Collegiate Press. Roughly 2,500 college students crammed into a single hotel, and they wasted little time in transforming the event into “House Party 4.”

Room doors were pounded upon by screaming morons. Objects were tossed from balconies. The nearby grassy knoll at Dealy Plaza – the famous landmark of Kennedy assassination lore – was violated by intoxicated, pantless fools. By Sunday morning, the thick reek of beer and bourbon clouded entire hallways.

The liberation experienced by those college journalists in the new environment is no different than that felt by high-schoolers on campus visits. There’s a compact community of morally deficient peers, no authority figures who matter and a sense that whatever happens won’t influence their lives at home.

Are the circumstances of the SADD survey and the behavior of the Dallas crowd justifiable? No.

But right or wrong, such conduct is inevitable. So there’s no point raising hell about a little hell-raisin’, because you’ll only wind up disappointed.


Daniel Pike is the features editor for the Herald. His column appears on Thursday. Reach him at [email protected]