College presidents call for lower drinking age. - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

College presidents call for lower drinking age.

By Liz Elan

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - This fall there is one hot topic stirring up many college campuses, a growing debate brewing over the drinking age.

Drinking is part of the college experience for many students, 21 or not.

If students were allowed to drink earlier, would they drink less or not at all?

Some college presidents have called on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. They argue the current law encourages binge drinking.

More then 100 college presidents have signed on to what is being called "The Amethyst Initiative."

The founder of The Amethyst Initiative Dr. John McCardell says "we believe there is evidence to show 21 is not working. It has unintended consequences and it's time for a public debate."

Not every underage student is tapping in to the idea.

"I think if they do anything about it they should raise the age because we already have enough problems with drinking as it is," says LSUS Freshman Allyson Lyons.

 Advocate groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving agree, the older drinking age saves lives.

"Why would we go backwards. We tried this in the 70's and 80's and it simply did not work,"says MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney.

In Texas, the University of Incarnate Word, and West Texas A&M have signed the petition. There are no louisiana colleges that have signed onto the amethyst initiative.

No Louisiana schools are on the list of colleges.

To see the colleges who have signed up visit http://www.amethystinitiative.org/

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