A Sad Rot Special
By: Al Capone
Nothing flies faster than a rumor, and the recent merger between ASU and Thunderbird has engendered its fair share of unsubstantiated news. One subject that has generated controversy is alcohol—specifically, whether ASU’s vaunted all-dry-all-the-time policy will apply to Thunderbird. Word on the street is that it will. Opponents to the policy have advanced four arguments: the students’ age, cultural diversity, Thunderbird tradition, and safety. In this apocryphal interview, ASU president Michael Comstock discussed his views with me.
Das Tor: Thank you for agreeing to talk about the alcohol issue.
Michael Comstock: No problem. There are a lot of misunderstandings about it, and I am happy to clear them up.
DT: What’s the motivation behind extending this rule to Thunderbird?
MC: Well, students are essentially children, and we at ASU aspire to be the New American Babysitter. If you think about it, it’s bad enough that kids can stay up all night or listen to the rap “music” as it’s so misleadingly called. The more people we can take under ASU’s wing, the better.
DT: But T-Birds aren’t kids—they’re graduate students. They’re all of legal drinking age.
MC: True, but that doesn’t mean we can’t treat them like kids. Look, everyone should be infantilized until there’s a good reason to stop. That’s how it’s always worked in my family. I myself still use a pacifier when I nap.
DT: I see. Thanks for clarifying. But most of the students at Thunderbird aren’t Americans, and many come from cultures with very different attitudes toward alcohol consumption. Why should we apply a puritanical American standard to foreign students?
MC: Actually, it’s even more important to stop the foreigners from drinking. They’re far from their parents, and they’re in especially great need of a nanny like me.
DT: But the point is that their home cultures, including their parents, often don’t share ASU’s teetotalism.
MC: Frankly, I find that even more frightening. No wonder they’re all so backward. Their countries would really benefit if they took some of our ASU undergraduate culture back to their mosquito-infested huts. So think of it as another form of education, except it’s cultural instead of academic. And it’s free of charge…regretfully.
DT: Uh-huh. What about the culture of Thunderbird itself? The Pub is an inherent part of campus life. And then there’s the Wine Club.
MC: Wine Club? More like “whine club,” am I right? Ha ha. Seriously, though, I do have a sense of humor. Anyway, the Pub can stay. But it can’t serve beer anymore. Maybe root beer though! Ha ha, there I go again!
DT: OK, but what’s wrong with alcohol in the first place? Why should people be concerned?
MC: A couple reasons. First of all, it’s devil water. Second, it’s a slippery slope. You get drunk once, and the next thing you know you’re riding around town on a unicycle wearing nothing but green body paint. And with social media, no one can afford that kind of exposure. All I can say is that I’m glad Facebook didn’t exist when I was in school, am I right?
DT: Well, alcohol consumption does carry risks, no doubt about that. But don’t you think banning alcohol might have unintended consequences? For example, if you ban drinking on campus, people might drive elsewhere to drink and then drive back drunk.
MC: Very true, but that’s why natural selection exists, am I right?
DT: Do you plan to restrict other risky activities too, like sports and sex?
MC: Whoa! Of course not. We’re a university; how could we ever restrict sports? They’re part of our core purpose. What else are we supposed to do with the land and money we currently use for stadiums, coaches, and equipment? I certainly can’t think of anything. Now, sex (if you insist on just saying that word directly) is of course a major concern. Nobody wants students, who are away from their parents, to have sex, and if there were any way to halt this nefarious behavior, we’d do it. Believe me, we’re looking into it.
DT: Thanks for your time, Mr. Comstock.
MC: My pleasure!
* Please be advised that the above exchange is satirical in nature and does not necessarily reflect the views of Das Tor or Thunderbird School of Global Management.