The Lakeland Mirror

Amanda Bagnall-Newman, Website Editor

After recent events on campus, I am wary of students, faculty and staff drinking together in the 1862 Lounge. While some students may find it fun to drink with them, other students find the lounge as their escape.

The bar at the 1862 Lounge is a place for students to meet up after a long day of classes and destress with a drink. It is a safe, on-campus alternative where people can socialize.

While it is legally okay for faculty and staff to partake in this socialization, it isn’t their place.

There is a wide spread of bars in the area where staff and faculty can meet up to drink, but the students who live on campus and wish to walk home instead of drive can become intimidated by their presence.

For example, say I was 21 and wanted to grab a drink with my friends to tell them about my crummy day at work. When we get there, my supervisor is there socializing with other professors. It would be extremely uncomfortable and frankly rude to tell my story at that point. Our group would either have to seclude ourselves to our apartment or move to an off campus alternative, which forces someone to be the designated driver.

I believe the 1862 Lounge should be a friendly atmosphere for students to drink on campus without having to drive back to their housing. Because the lounge is in the center of campus, it is easily accessible to everyone living there.

If I drink a little too much, I don’t want my professor to walk in and see the drunken mess I could be. I don’t want them to see me differently.

There are occasions where drinking with students is acceptable. If you are at a conference with a professor and during dinner you both have a few, that’s perfectly okay. What I am concerned about is students feeling pressured to not fully optimize the 1862 Lounge in fear that faculty and staff would catch them intoxicated.

So do as you please, but keep in mind that the students do come first on campus. The 1862 Lounge is there for students to take advantage off, staff and faculty presence could add to potentially awkward situations.

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