A New Kind of College Test

More stories from Sarah Willard

A New Kind of College Test

It is through all forms of media that we are consistently able to see students, college students more specifically, abusing drugs, leading to their own failure at academic success or at least for a temporary space of time. Recently, colleges are trying endlessly to combat this abuse in order to ensure the safety of their students, and maybe to relieve their own liability during these drug related incidents. In order to tackle this abuse more strongly, some suggest that colleges begin to drug test their students as part of the admissions process. Others believe that colleges do not hold the right to drug test because of the boundaries it crosses, as well as the consequences that would then follow.

The idea of colleges drug testing students as they enter their selected institution seems to be appealing to many. Several argue that college is a preparation and training for the careers that students will have in the future, and therefore, drug testing will help them acclimate to the drug testing they may one day have to face with their employers. Drug testing might also potentially assist the college in raising the success rate of their graduates. It is through this process that colleges predict that the drug use of their schools will reach a very new low, shining a better light on that specific university and, ultimately, raising the achievement of each individual student.

At the same time, tackling drug abuse through testing is receiving some serious opposition. Some students even argue that it is incredibly unconstitutional, as it goes against the fourth amendment of “unwarranted searches and seizures without a probable cause.” They claim that they should not have to be tested for such things if they do not wish to be, because a drug test may only show some drugs, but not others. For example, someone who smoked marijuana within a week of the test will test positive, but someone who used a harsher drug in the same amount of time will not be recognized as positive. In conjunction, the colleges state that if their current students are currently using drugs, they will provide counseling for that student. This leads for the argument that drug use is a health issue as well as a medical issue that cannot be solved with counselling appointments. Rather, this is an issue that the college should not become involved in as it will not help to solve these health problems.

So I guess the real question is : What can colleges truly do to improve this occurring drug abuse?