Today is Slope Day, a Cornell tradition on the last day of classes. A few thousand members of the Cornell community gather on our enormous slope that separates the West Campus from the Arts Quad to listen to music and, well, drink.
I’m sure I’ll enjoy a few beers and have a nice time with my friends. However, I have never really appreciated these sort of gatherings. A hallmark of American college culture is the type of eagerness to “get plastered” and render otherwise thoughtful young men and women to become “sloppy.” I suspect much of this is still the by-product of our prohibition of drinking under the age of twenty-one. I certainly don’t see anyone who has been eased into alcohol consumption, most of them having grown up in foreign lands, puking outside of my dorm on Saturday nights or discussing black outs in my Monday classes. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a set of laws that usher responsible drinking and don’t merely encourage a competition for creative subversion in our youth.