A Butler University student attempted to bring a drug-testing product to the university this semester.
University officials told the student they would not promote the sale of the product Drink Detective on campus.
This action on the part of the administration seems to stand in direct contradiction to its stated goal of ensuring student safety.
Students can use Drink Detective to find out if anything has been added to the drink in a simple test.
This includes dangerous drugs.
Various officials assosciated with the university have spoken out about the product.
They bring up valuable points — The product is not comprehensive and does not completely guarantee safety.
In other words, the product does not promise “all-clear” reactions.
At the same time, it seems better than nothing.
Drink Detective does not create dangerous drugs or physically harm someone.
Any argument against it seems to ignore the existing problem of people drugging others through beverages.
It is very important to remember that even if this product were allowed on campus, no one is responsible for being drugged.
However, if some individuals choose to use the product, there seems to be no reason to stop them.
Having Drink Detective available on campus should not be seen any differently than offering self-defense classes or promoting educational programs about safe drinking.
None of these programs actually address the cause of predatory behavior.
The ideal solution to any attempted drugging is to force the perpetrators to stop their behavior.
However, some individuals may wish to take action to protect themselves.
The university should do everything in its power to make that happen when the action does not endanger other students.
Butler officials bring up an important point—Drink Detective, and any product like it, cannot fix drugging problems or promise safety.
At the core, though, safety should not be left to the student either way.
The university’s focus should be all for making it incredibly difficult to behave in ways that harm other students.
Making a drug-testing product like this available on campus does not endanger students or create a culture of fear.
It also does not absolve any officials of their responsibility to keep students safe.
If more knowledge about the prevalence of drugging drinks makes people nervous, perhaps this campus needs to be more aware.
Either way, students have a right to know what is going on around campus when it impacts their safety.
And they have a right to know what they’re sipping.