I don’t think some people at this school realize how rich they really are. The New York Times did a piece about income inequality at elite colleges and named 38 schools that have more students from the top 1% of the income scale than the bottom 60%. Conn, along with almost every other NESCAC, was included on the list. The median family income of the Conn student body is just shy of $200,000 a year, and 73% of Conn’s students hail from the top 20% of the income ladder.
It should be no surprise, then, that every Thursday and many Saturdays this semester Conn students have been flocking to bars rather than socializing on campus. I see this as a direct result of the increased presence of Campus Safety officers, who have to abide by a new policy that requires them to spend much more of their time outside and closer to students.
But I want to talk about the bars. It costs a lot of money to frequent the bars every Thursday. A beer usually costs a minimum of $5, and when compared to buying a 30 rack of frat water from Hodges for $15, this basically means it is 10 times more expensive to drink a beer at a bar than it is to drink a Natty light in your dorm.
This may be a touchy subject, but fake IDs (which are being used by many, many underclassmen) often cost at least $50. I don’t think that students should have to pay a premium in order to socialize at this school. And $50 is a lot of money to pay for the average college student. Paying the cost of an Uber, being able to afford to have a car on campus, buying drinks at a bar, and fake ID costs are all expenses that an increasing number of students are choosing to pay in order to participate in the mainstream social life at this school. Morally, I do not think it is right and it goes against what Conn students believe about equity and inclusion.
I would also like to mention drunk driving. Uber and Lyft are simply not able to provide transportation to the hundreds of students who go to the bars every weekend. I have personally heard stories of Conn students driving drunk leaving a bar. Bar culture becoming mainstream means that more people will be put in much more danger than anyone would be able to find in a Ridge on a Saturday night.