Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mason says no to Amethyst Project

Mason says no to Amethyst Project

University of Iowa President Sally Mason has refused to join a group of university president calling for a reconsideration of the 21 year old drinking age,

In an open letter (scanned .pdf) addressed to Amethyst Project head John McCardell, Mason said, "I do not agree that lowering the drinking age would be effective at this time."

The letter was dated Tuesday, the same day the Amethyst Project received its first major media attention.

Mason mentioned Iowa City's ordinance allowing 19 and 20 year-olds admission into bars, but did not note that a ballot initiative to raise the admission age to 21 was defeated last year with an overwhelming no vote from students.

The only Iowa college president to sign on to the Amethyst Project thus far is James Phifer of Coe College. “We don’t know for sure that lowering the drinking age will make the binge drinking issue better, but it’s calling for a study and that’s what President Phifer supports,” said a Coe spokesman.

Ben Allen of the University of Northern Iowa has not taken a position yet, and Gregory Geoffroy of Iowa State University is on vacation.

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