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The Code of Conduct section in the Blue Pages states that “students are responsible for living completely free from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs.” The Pledge asks that we “serve God and humanity through the study and healing practice of Christian Science, expressed in principled thought and action, unselfed love, and moral courage.”
Every one of us signed this upon coming to Principia. Recent events seem to suggest the frightening possibility that a college student’s word is losing its meaning.
One student estimates that 183 students at Principia smoke pot on a regular basis, not just as a one-time thing. This might sound like a shocking amount when you compare it to the school’s attendance of about 550. However, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, this is pretty consistent with the ratio of college students who have smoked pot in the last year.
What is shocking is that our school fits right in with all the other colleges in the country: colleges that aren’t concerned with the moral courage of their students or filled with students whose primary purpose at college is to “serve God”.
What many are left asking is: Is this a problem? What should we do about it? Can we do anything?
Resident Director Josh Sprague addressed these questions when he said: “Should we freak out? No. What we can do is figure out how to put our best foot forward.” We are all here to work on being better Christian Scientists. This is simply an obstacle for users and non-users alike to work through with right motives in mind and the ability to separate the sin from the sinner.
According to Sprague, if we look at the situation realistically, there hasn’t actually been a spike in marijuana use at Principia. With recent events in mind, a spotlight seems to have been placed on all “rule-breaking” activities, as if they are all somehow connected. Many from the Principia community are in agreement that they are probably not.
So why are we discussing marijuana in this issue of the Pilot? Because we all need to constantly question the things we do and don’t do. We can’t be blind followers. A student who has never partaken in drugs or alcohol said, “We need to make a commitment to our values.” Commitment is a strong word that seems to scare people, but when it comes to drug use, it’s simply a commitment to ourselves.
The cons of marijuana use greatly outweigh the pros. Many students might say smoking pot makes it easier to be funny, artistic, and open-minded. But the biggest con, other than its obvious illegality, is that it’s not you. The first anonymous source explains that “You can’t claim anything you do under the influence as your own.” The art you create is not yours, the ideas you have aren’t yours, and even the friends you make while you’re high aren’t really yours.
As college students, we are at a time in our lives when we’re filled with questions, one of the primary ones being our conviction in Christian Science. Some students see marijuana as a way to get closer to their ideas of God, to separate themselves from that, or to simply be unique. News flash: Smoking pot doesn’t make you original.
We’re not at Principia to conform to stereotypes about college students. We’re here to stand out in the world and provide people with a solid example of Christian Science. Is smoking pot at your college the best way you know to be your best possible self, the self you want to be for the rest of your life? No one can say yes to this.
Threatening students with Community Board, expulsion, or material side effects should not be the only motivation to stay away from drugs. Fear cannot be at the root of our actions. We can give ourselves more credit and take full responsibility for our actions.
I don’t want readers to chastise smokers. Sprague said: “Ignorant malpractice of a classmate on their individual journey is as harmful to ourselves as it is to others.” What we should do is refuse to turn a blind eye to the activities hurting our community. Resident Counselor Christy Ellington said that simply asking “Are you sure?” is sometimes enough to get someone to challenge their thinking, or reveal their lack of thinking.
“The time for thinkers has come.” S&H pg. 1
Thinkers don’t smoke pot, people who avoid thinking do.