George Mason Amethyst Initiative
The Amethyst Initiative aims to create an authentic and sincere dialog about the state of the drinking age in America. The "Statement" (see below) has been signed by 135 Chancellors and Presidents of some of the most esteemed universities across country including: American University, Virginia Tech, Dartmouth, Duke, University of Maryland College Park, The Ohio State University, and many others. The Statement: "STATEMENT It's time to rethink the drinking age In 1984 Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which imposed a penalty of 10% of a state's federal highway appropriation on any state setting its drinking age lower than 21. Twenty-four years later, our experience as college and university presidents convinces us that... Twenty-one is not working A culture of dangerous, clandestine "binge-drinking"-often conducted off-campus-has developed. Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students. Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer. By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law. How many times must we relearn the lessons of prohibition We call upon our elected officials: To support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21 year-old drinking age. To consider whether the 10% highway fund "incentive" encourages or inhibits that debate. To invite new ideas about the best ways to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol. We pledge ourselves and our institutions to playing a vigorous, constructive role as these critical discussions unfold." By electronically signing this petition you are officially putting forward your support for a rational debate of the drinking age and asking that President Merten and the George Mason Administration do the same.