House Editorial: Restrictions Within Privilege

Cartoon by Samuel Sherrill
Cartoon by Samuel Sherrill

Those at the University Journal Editorial Board believe that, despite the enormous cost and the many years of hard work, college, or any education, is a privilege. 

As college students, the Editorial Board understands that college students are legal adults, that they pay their our own tuition, and for the most part, we detest governmental overreach. However, we also understand the sense in having restrictions and mandated behavior in college.

In light of school districts in Oklahoma, colleges in the Philippines, and other institutions of education mandating student drug testing during enrollment, the Editorial Board members decided to discuss this question: Is it okay for colleges, sports not included, to drug test students without previous suspicion or evidence of drug use?

The Editorial Board believes it’s beneficial for three reasons, the first being crime rate reduction. Second, testing could help provide early help/intervention for those dependent on or addicted to drugs. And lastly, these restrictions would help prepare college students for a future in the American workplace.

As much as 20 years ago, 41 percent of violent crimes against college students in the U.S. were committed by an offender perceived to be on drugs. Around two in every five sexual crimes and about 25 percent of all robberies against college students were done by perpetrators under the influence of drugs.

Most colleges mandate counseling for substance abuse, as well as offering it for those that want help with rehabilitation.

The last time the American Medical Association asked employers about drug testing their employees, responses showed that on average, between industries, 57 percent of companies said that they did drug tests upon employment and periodically during employment. It is very likely that at some point, college students will be required to take and pass drug tests in order to keep their jobs.  Most colleges, including SUU, pride themselves on preparing adults for the job market, so they can fulfill goals and careers. Therefore it is not unreasonable for institutes would want to start preparing for this now.                           

Students enjoy their privacy, their right to live their lives and their constitutional rights through the fourth amendment.  However, good for the majority, help for their futures and a better environment for campus and community make a compelling case. Especially if these virtues can be obtained through a simple policy.

House Editorial By
Savannah Palmer and SUU News