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October 25, 2013 Prof. Joe Grohens Yekaterina Ermakov Scott Lunardini Samuel ONeil Jon Stricker Proposal for Drinking Law Reconsideration Preliminary Review Report

Below is our Research Proposal to reconsider the drinking laws that affect those under the age of 21 years. Please review our work below and respond with any comments or additions you deem necessary. We look forward to getting your approval.

Problem On Campus As with many universities, alcohol is very prevalent at the University of Illinois. With alcohol being such a large part of campus culture and with campus having such a large percentage of residents under 21, underage drinking is highly prevalent. In 2007, 1509 youths were ticketed for underage drinking in Champaign and another 57 tickets were given for providing alcohol to minors. With increased enforcement of the current drinking laws, alcohol tickets have decreased in more recent years. In 2010, 1275 youths were ticketed on campus for underage drinking. Nationally Nationally, Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youths and is responsible for more than 4,700 annual deaths among underage youth. Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. (http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm) This corresponds to one in every ten drinks being consumed by a minor. In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol. A Real Problem All the above statistics point towards the fact that current drinking laws are ineffective. People are not compelled to stay sober until they are 21 and the current laws are not respected by a majority of people. Underage drink is dangerous however and laws should be altered to either make drinking safer for minors or introduce more effective underage drinking regulations.


The purpose of our proposal is to request permission to study the college student population of Urbana-Champaign with regards to the current drinking laws and their effectiveness in order to assess their quality and make further suggestions for improvement. Research Question How do University of Illinois students view the current drinking laws and what changes, if any would they like to see?

Hypothesis The majority of underage University of Illinois students drink and would support more lenient drinking laws.

Introduction With this review report we look to assess the effectiveness underage drinking laws have on the Urbana-Champaign community. We hypothesis that the current laws are insufficient in providing a safe environment for citizens. By completing this study, we look to identify the shortcomings of the current drinking laws and use them to structure a proposal containing new laws that address the issues we find. We will communicate our suggestions to Naomi Jakobsson, the state representative of the Champaign County area, and to C. Renee Romano, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. These women have great influence over their respective institutions and would be great allies to help voice the concerns of the student population. This study will require no financial funding.

Proposed Tasks With your approval, we would like to execute the following plan in order to identify the shortcomings of the current drinking laws and create suggestions for improvement: 1. Research statistics regarding drinking felonies in the Urbana-Champaign area. A strong basis understanding of the issue is required to guide us in selecting specific topics for further research. Collecting statistics regarding drinking in the UrbanaChampaign area would adequately illustrate the issue. The statistics would provide a preliminary understanding of general deficiencies of the current drinking laws. We would analyze these deficiencies to identify a set of distinct topics that when researched in detail or presented in a survey, would provide us with the most adequate information for pinpointing the cases when current drinking laws fail. 2. Survey students regarding the effectiveness of current drinking laws. University students, aged 18 to 22, fall in a target demographic of the current drinking laws. The underage students spend their time on campus surrounded by many peers of the legal drinking age. As we've discussed, the University has a strong reputation as a party

school, so it's easy to see how strong the influence to drink underage is for these students. Surveying this demographic will help us understand the factors that go into the decision to drink underage. Having a better understanding of the students' trade-offs will pinpoint the weaknesses in the current drinking laws and help in forming improved laws that counteract current influences. 3. Analyze the data weve collected and prepare a list of shortcomings and suggestions. The information gathered by the previous tasks provides a comprehensive depiction of the effectiveness of the current drinking laws and attitudes of University students towards them. By analyzing the information collected through our surveys, we would have a comprehensive understanding of what has and hasnt been successful in the current drinking laws and their enforcement. We will be able to confidently enumerate what has been unsuccessful and with that knowledge provide suggestions to improve these shortcomings.

Methods This study will need to utilize surveys, academic research, and site visits. These different methods of obtaining data will provide the most comprehensive understanding of the current feelings about the underage drinking law. Surveys will directly poll people about their feelings towards the issue at hand. These will be very useful tools if a representative sample population answers the questions. Academic research will help put into perspective the solutions previously attempted to curb or make safer underage drinking. This information will help us access solutions once the stance of the student community is found. Site trips to the police department to interview officers, or to town hall meetings to ask current residence about their opinion on underage drinking will help fit our research into the larger community.

Schedule Task Perform Research Create Survey Perform Survey Analyze Results Investigate Solutions Progress Report 28Oct 29Oct 30Oct 31Oct 12345678Nov Nov Nov Nov Nov Nov Nov Nov

First Draft of Report Final Draft of Report Figure 1. Gantt Chart depicting schedule of Planned Tasks No more than one hour a day per group member will be needed to complete the above tasks. Tasks will be distributed evenly to all group members based on group member consensus.

Experience We are all academically successful students at the University of Illinois (the number four party school in America, according to The Huffington Post.) We have witnessed underage drinking and all the rules and consequences that come with it.

References Harrington, Rebecca. "Party Schools That Pay: 2012 Payscale List." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 08 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2013. "Fact Sheets - Underage Drinking." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

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