Letter to the editor:
Encourage alcohol awareness
To the Editor:
I would like to commend Amanda Hickey, editor of The Pine Needle, for her article on Aug. 30, in which she said her experiences at UNCP and the people she has met have been “worth more than any bar, club, pub or restaurant.”
Hopefully, Hickey will be able to influence her peers off campus who are being encouraged under the guise of economic development to support a town referendum for “liquor by the drink” next spring.
Kudos to Hickey for demonstrating a leadership position to oppose what may be popular and lucrative to some while risking the education and future of many who may be misled in a false quest for “economic growth.”
In the same issue of The Pine Needle, Hannah Simpson, Around the Town Editor, reported that the SGA and Association of Campus Entertainment were teaming up with the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce and Red Apple Properties to promote student voter registration in Pembroke and to vote for “liquor by the drink” to spur economic growth.
The citations provided in the article quoted Greg Bryant of Red Apple Properties as saying that while not advocating drinking, he was organizing a party from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. to register students for voting and increase the census.
Bryant also cited the success of Dominos, Mikotos and Jersey Mike’s as “making a killing.”
If these businesses are thriving, why do we need “liquor by the drink?”
I would like to encourage SGA President Dwight Humphrey and ACE Chair Jesse Dobbin to utilize their leadership skills to improve community relations with the citizens of Pembroke by joining with the majority who do not support “liquor by the drink” as evidenced by the past vote on this issue and those who will be living here permanently without establishing temporary residence and who will continue to try to rear their children and families in a community already infested with alcohol and substance abuse.
As student leaders in a university setting, it would be more appropriate to encourage their peers to become aware of consequences of binge drinking.
Recently, the Wilmington Star-News reported data from the Centers for Disease Control, UNCW, Duke University and Harvard University from a study of binge drinking of college and university campuses.
• One in five college students has blacked out from drinking too much alcohol.
• Nationwide, about 50 students die each fall from alcohol poisoning.
• About 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by youth under 21 in the U.S. is consumed during a binge.
• People ages 18-20 are the highest proportion of binge drinkers.
• About 44 percent – or two out of five college students – drink five alcoholic drinks in a row at least once every two weeks.
• More than 40 percent of college students binge when they party, putting their lives and futures at risk.
I certainly hope UNCP will give equal time and attention to educating students and making them aware of the real purpose for which they came to Pembroke – to prepare for productive lives and build their own businesses and careers rather than contributing to the already existing social and economic problems created by alcohol and drugs in the town of Pembroke and communities surrounding the University.
—Ruth Dial Woods
Editor’s note: Woods was the first woman appointed by the N.C. General Assembly to the UNC Board of Governors.