A group of Amherst juniors met in Glasgow last weekend, making a pact to phase out their alcohol consumption by 2050.
The program will see over a hundred students drink normally in the short-term, before decreasing their consumption to net-zero levels by the mid-century mark. The students have guaranteed their classmates that their drinking levels will not change in the coming decades.
Joe Robinette Bailey ’23 is leading the efforts, having recruited most of the students signed onto the plan. While Bailey is known by his peers as the biggest drinker on campus, he is committed to a sustainable future. When pressed for comment, Bailey stressed the importance of a steady switch to non-alcoholic alternatives. “It’s not practical to think we can transition away from alcoholic beverages right now. We need a slow, phased-out strategy, and it’s okay to make new short-term investments in 30-racks,” he said.
While many are accusing the students of agreeing to an “all talk, no action” pact, Kaitlyn Harris ’23 says Bailey’s latest drinking antics prove the students are heading in the right direction. “We absolutely love Keystone beer — it's extremely cheap and it’s the most efficient option we have. We used to drink it so much that the underclassman called our friend group the ‘Keystone XL Pipeline.’ Now, Bailey has heroically outlawed any future Keystone consumption. That’s a step in the right direction,” Harris said.
However, Harris noted that certain students may utilize credits earned from their sober prep-school days, so the actual consumption end date may be well over 2065.
To speed up the process, some students are using the fridges provided from the college to store empty beer cans in what is widely known as the ‘capture and storage’ method of sequestration. “By using an alcohol sequestration strategy, we may actually be able to continue to drink forever, storing the negative effects of alcohol deep in the Morrow basement.”
At the Glasgow convention, one junior living in Hitchcock made an impassioned plea to the other students that change needs to happen immediately. With tears in his eyes, James Shaw ’23, who may be forced to move dorms in the coming years if alcohol levels aren’t curbed immediately, presented evidence to his classmates that their drinking is causing his room to flood with IPAs on Saturday nights.
While 98 percent of experts backed Shaw's claims, Bailey emphasized that there was no need for swift action. “Yes, I’m the biggest drinker on campus,” Bailey said, “But think about how many other students drink. This is a campus-wide problem, perpetuated by the first students to come through our college hundreds of years ago. And Shaw drinks minimal amounts at formals too, so it’s only fair if we move at an equitable pace towards a future without drinking.”
Nat Light ’23, who provides alcohol at all campus functions, has been coined by the Economics department as the story’s hero. Even though Light will continue to produce alcohol at Amherst parties, he has devised an ingenious “alcohol offset” approach to limiting alcohol consumption. Light has purchased an unused plot of land at Hampshire College, vowing to save it from being turned into a vineyard in the foreseeable future. By purchasing these “offsets,” Light is the first student to officially reach alcohol-neutrality on campus.