College leaders hope to renew debate on a lower drinking agehttp://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-drinking20-2008aug20,0,1651220.storyABC News: Answer to Underage Drinking: Make It Legalhttp://www.abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=5616070&page=1MADD: Some University Presidents Shirk Responsibility to Protect Students from Dangers of Underage Drinkinghttp://www.madd.org/Media-Center/Media-Center/Press-Releases/Press-Releases/2008/Some-University-Presidents-Shirk-Responsibility-to.aspxAmethyst Initiativehttp://www.amethystinitiative.org/The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/youthissues/1092767630.htmlHarvard School of Public Health: College Alcohol Study [pdf]http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Home.htmlFor the past two decades, there hasn't been a great deal of discussion regarding the drinking age in the United States. In 1984, The National Minimum Drinking Age Act effectively established a nationwide limit by removing 10% of the annual federal highway funding from states that chose to set their drinking age below the age of 21. In recent weeks, a rather unusual group has come together to spark a new debate about this rather tempestuous topic: college presidents. This summer, the Amethyst Initiative released a statement signed by over 100 college presidents stating that "the 21 year-old drinking age is not working, and, specifically, that it has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses." The Initiative is not in favor of advocating for a particular policy change or modification, but rather asking for "informed and unimpeded debate" on the subject. A number of organizations were quick to respond to the document, including Chuck Hurley, the chief executive of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who noted that he was "profoundly disappointed" in the initiative. The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Wednesday's Baltimore Sun which discusses various reactions to the signed statement from the Amethyst Initiative. The second link leads to a news article from the Wednesday edition of the Los Angeles Times about those college presidents in California who offered their signatures to this statement. Moving on, the third link leads to an extended investigative piece from ABC News which talks to university officials, parents, students, and policy makers about this subject. The fourth link will lead visitors to a press release from MADD that offers expert testimony from scientists and others regarding the effectiveness of the 21 year-old minimum drinking age in saving lives. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Amethyst Initiative. Here visitors can view a complete list of college presidents who have signed the statement thus far, and also learn more about their work. The sixth link leads to a summary of The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 written by Dr. David J. Hanson. Dr. Hanson's entire site is worth a look, as he provides information about a wide range of alcohol issues. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study. Here visitors can read some about some of their latest findings and also look over additional resources.


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