The state’s largest private university is following the lead of the public universities in cracking down on alcohol use at a popular on-campus event. Drake officials have banned alcohol and instituted several restrictions for the street painting event that kicks off the Drake Relays. The event was marred by the arrest of football player Phil Joseph last year after a scuffle with police, but Drake President David Maxwell says the Joseph incident isn’t related to the alcohol ban. He says that’s a common misconception, but he says the ban came out of a couple of years of concern about the street painting event. Maxwell says the event was getting out of hand and away from its intent.He says things had started to get too rowdy and they decided to make some changes to protect the safety of students and others on campus. Maxwell says there’s no doubt excessive alcohol use was causing problems.He says they have a community of smart people, and smart people rarely do stupid things unless they’re impaired by some kind of drug, like alcohol. Maxwell says alcohol abuse is a problem nationwide for colleges and universities. He says part of the problem is that students are already using alcohol when the go off to college.He says a recent study showed 40 percent of high school seniors admitted to binge drinking once in the last month, so he says they’re coming onto college campuses with a history of alcohol abuse. Maxwell says he doesn’t anticipate any major problems with enforcing the alcohol ban at Saturday’s street painting event.
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