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    Re: Former Student Questions USG Decision

    Hi Christopher Sorochin,

    My name is Esam Al-Shareffi and I was the person responsible for writing the USG Resolution. Let me first say that I for one deeply appreciate your letter and your unique perspective as a Stony Brook Alumna.

    I share with you some of the sentiments you describe in your letter to the editor. There are many underage people I know who are very mature and intelligent with their liquor limits and there are also many adults who can legally drink but do so to great excess, to the detriment of themselves and those around them. The current laws on drinking are by no means perfect and there is certainly need for greater study and reform, to possibly lower the drinking age to 18, which as you point out is the age in which people can serve in the armed forces and do many of the activities society typically assigns to adults.

    The Rugby resolution, however, was meant to be a much more limited document. My intentions were to convey to the administration that the Rugby team as a whole did not participate in the underage drinking or partying and that they should not be suspended as a result. Tackling the wider issue in the resolution would not have been productive, because the administration does not have the authority to change the legal drinking age, nor would it have been helpful to debate this more complicated issue at a time when fellow students were being denied their right to participate in a team sport they love because of the private actions of a few individuals.

    In summary, I suppose that not mentioning the underage drinking issue altogether would have probably been more appropriate, but I hope that you and the student body are pleased that a resolution supporting a USG-funded club was passed, showing that USG will vigorously defend its students, and that the Rugby team is no longer suspended, and thus free to play and provide excellent entertainment for those who enjoy watching their games.

    Sincerely yours, Esam Al-Shareffi

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