Christ's Reasons for Signing the Amethyst Initiative
President Christ is among
the 129 chancellors and presidents of U.S. colleges and
universities who recently signed the Amethyst Initiative.
Launched in July 2008, the Initiative supports informed
public debate on the 21-year-old drinking age. Other signatories
include Mount Holyoke College President Joanne Creighton
and Hampshire College President Ralph Hexter. About her
decision to sign the , President Christ
made the following comments:
"The Amethyst Initiative
calls for a serious, sustained debate about the effect
of the twenty-one year-old drinking age and the best ways
to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about
alcohol. Signing the statement commits the presidents to
initiate civil, informed, and dispassionate discussions of
the issue, weighing all evidence, excluding no credible participants,
and considering all policy alternatives. I take no position
at all on what the drinking age should be.
"Like many of the presidents
who signed the Amethyst Initiative, I have been
motivated by alarm about the abuse of alcohol on college
campuses -- particularly binge drinking and clandestine drinking.
We are asking the question whether the 21-year-old drinking
age is effective in limiting alcohol abuse or whether it
helps contribute to a culture of secret, binge drinking."