Upua assembly 14jan2009 :: 0:21:43 to 0:22:21
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0:18:59 to 0:25:49( Edit History Discussion )
Title: Ben Novak

Former Penn State trustee and student government president Ben Novak addressing UPUA on student drinking.

0:20:35 to 0:21:43( Edit History Discussion )

In early December I had lunch with the mayor of State College borough, William Welch. Now if any of you were following the Collegian last fall—I wasn't here [in the fall], but before that I followed the Collegian for the past couple of years—you'd find that you would get the impression that Bill Welch really doesn't like students, and that Bill Welch is the [co-]chairman of President Spanier's Alcohol Task Force designed to harass the daylights out of you on drinking. He was in favor of the 'tap tax', that tax that would have put a 10% tax on every drink bought in State College, and a lot of other things. So this is the man I'm talking about. When it comes to alcohol and soforth, he's been very, very critical of students, and very in-favor of the harshest reactions to student drinking back then. Many of you have been very upset with many of the things he has been for.

0:21:43 to 0:22:21( Edit History Discussion )

I'm saying all of this to get clear in your mind who I'm talking about, William Welch, the mayor of State College. So I went to lunch with Bill in order to talk to him about a new approach to student drinking. What I was going to talk to him about was Plato's argument that drinking parties were essential to higher education. Essential to the working of the University. That they were important, that they were to be cultivated, not abolished. I had my book of Plato with me (I meant to bring it tonight but forgot).

0:22:21 to 0:23:23( Edit History Discussion )

You would think that the last thing that he wanted to hear was a 2,500-year old argument from Plato about drinking parties being good things for college students. So what was his reaction? I had no sooner started to tell him about it and pull out the book that he said "don't bother Ben, I know that story, I know Plato's argument." He said that was the argument that fundamentally students followed until about 1970 at Penn State. That was back in the period when they started the Phi Psi 500, and a lot of other things, when the borough was all in-favor of those things. He said "yeah, student drinking then was great." There was always some incident, but those where looked at as expectations. Most of the time they were pretty much under control and students could drink like fish and everyone loved them.

University Park Undergraduate Association Student Assembly 14-Jan-2009 Meeting

Adopted from: http://www.archive.org/details/upua_assembly_14jan2009

Academic and administrative discourse related to The Pennsylvania State University.

Student Assembly,
University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA),
The Pennsylvania State University

Meeting held 8:13pm on 14-Jan-2009
302 HUB, University Park, Pennsylvania

A listing of other University proceedings is available:
"Penn State University" AND "open meeting"

This is a private recording of an open-to-the-public event.
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