Fall 2009: The Minimum Legal Drinking Age


In order to foster a more moral society, the federal government should lower the legal drinking age from 21 to 18.

Fall 2009 Course

Fall 2009 marks the fifth consecutive year of the Moral Forum course (University Honors 101), and 66 students enrolled in five sections of the course.

Our guest lecturers included:

Dr. Jim Otteson, Professor of Philosophy and Economics, Yeshiva University.  Dr. Otteson’s lecture covered the fundamentals of moral philosophy from the ancient thinkers to Kantian ethics.
Dr. Mark Nelson, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs.  Dr. Nelson spoke on the art and mechanics of public speech.
Dr. Chase Wrenn, Associate Professor, Philosophy.  Dr. Wrenn lectured on the elements of successful moral argumentation.
Dr. David Hanson, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, SUNY Potsdam.  Dr. Hanson presented arguments in favor of lowering the drinking age.
Dr. Stuart Usdan, Associate Professor, Health Science.  Dr. Usdan offered evidence to argue against lowering the drinking age.

View the Moral Forum 2009 Syllabus for more course details.

Fifth Annual Moral Forum Tournament

The three-week Fifth Annual Moral Forum Tournament was held in the School of Law and the Ferguson Center with the support of 60 volunteer judges including law students, graduate and undergraduate students, and faculty from across campus.

In front of a Morgan Auditorium audience of more than 300, a total of $10,000 in Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility scholarships were distributed on the final night.  Senior Zackary Stillings and freshman Lissa Handley-Tyson argued in favor of lowering the drinking age, and the winning team, sophomores Hallie Paul and Christy Boardman, argued against it.  Sydney Branch, Blaine Davis, Gregory Poole, and John Elder were recognized for their achievements as semi-finalists.  Zackary Stillings was also recognized as the outstanding individual debater and John Elder was recognized for his outstanding written case.