Chapter 6 Alcohol and Drugs 149
CHAPTER 6 Alcohol and Drugs In his book, This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fi tzgerald descri bed Princeton University in the 1920s as “the pleasantest country club in America”—basically a wild , se lf-indulgent institution where s ex, alcohol, a nd s ocial climbing wer e acceptable—even significant—elements of college life. In the story, Fitzgerald’s hero, Amory Blaine, is a c onceited, fun-seeking individual, intelligent but lazy about h is wo rk at Prince ton, an d he s pends his ye ars of “hig her education” partying, drinking, and living in lethargic affluence. Fitzgerald’s s tory of a h edonistic co llege stu dent is somewhat a utobio- graphical, based on many of his own experiences at Princeton up until the time he wrote it. This Side of Paradise struck a chord with the rebellious youth of the Jazz Age, dis illusioned by World War I, and of course, terrifie d the ol der generation intent on maintaining an image of decorum and respectability. Since the 1920s, though, little has changed within the college scene. College administrators are sti ll f ocused on mai ntaining c lean, relia ble rep utations for institutions of higher learning, while s tudents are often more fo cused on main- taining enjoyable, if frequently illegal, social lives. In the past, colleges have all too often observed a “hands-off” policy about alcohol and drugs—i.e., if it goes on behind cl osed d oors, it’s not the c ollege’s resp onsibility...
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