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Clarkson University Amethyst Initiative Debate & Town Meeting Video Now Online

Complete video of the March 11 Amethyst Initiative Debate and Town Meeting is now available online at:

This week, Clarkson students took the lead in a debate on the pros and cons of the Amethyst Initiative. Following the debate, a panel discussion ensued among a number of individuals who are impacted by the wide ranging phases of drinking.

Panelists were Patrick Brady (superintendent, Potsdam Central School District), Mark Murray (officer with the Potsdam Police Department), Chelsey Nena-Maree O’Brien (Clarkson exchange student from Australia), Jody Wenzel (owner, McDuff’s Tavern), Thomas Finnerty (Assistant District Attorney), and Chip Morris (director, SUNY Potsdam Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards). Kurt Stimeling, Clarkson dean of students, moderated the discussion.

The Amethyst Initiative supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21-year-old drinking age. Amethyst Initiative presidents and chancellors call upon elected officials to weigh all the consequences of current alcohol policies and to invite new ideas on how best to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol use.

Launched in July 2008, the initiative is made up of chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges across the United States. These higher education leaders have signed their names to a public statement that the problem of irresponsible drinking by young people continues despite the minimum legal drinking age of 21, and there is a culture of dangerous binge drinking on many campuses.

The debate and town meeting was sponsored by SPECTRUM in partnership with Clarkson’s Dean of Students office.

Read more about the Amethyst Initiative at

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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