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Announcing Our Fall 2017 Scholarship Winner

Everyone at Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law is dedicated to helping our local and nationwide communities build strong foundations that will lead to a brighter future. As part of that dedication, we decided to start a scholarship this year. The Fall 2017 submission period just came to a close, and we were truly humbled by the amount of applications we received as well as the overall quality of every essay. Thank you to everyone who applied!

We’re happy to announce that we’ve chosen a winner. Congratulations to Andrew W. Muggleton of Williamsport, Pennsylvania!

Andrew will be an incoming freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Fall 2017’s essay topic was on college safety and how students can stay safe during their college years. Andrew tackled a tough subject and handled it with ease– offering suggestions that dive deeper than the surface and are actionable in nature.

Here’s his essay:

“Safety is a concern for all young adults, but even more so in a college setting where the term “YOLO” often gets tossed around on a daily basis. Alcohol has always been a key variable in adversely affecting college students’ lives and creating safety issues. Alcohol is also something that many students (no matter their age) can easily get their hands on. Underage drinking and over-consumption by students of legal age not only affects the students who drink, but also those around them. As a young adult, I know that I don’t always think about consequences and can make choices that aren’t always safe. In order to curb the dangers that alcohol can present for college students, serious action needs to take place.

Underage drinking is one of the largest issues that can make the college lifestyle dangerous for many. When drinking leads to negative consequences during a party or other gathering, a student’s first reaction is usually to get up and leave. This compounds the negative consequences and can make a dangerous situation even more dangerous– or even deadly. I’ve seen this recently happen at Penn State. I believe students need to know that they can seek help when they’re potentially in a dangerous situation and not get in trouble. Many universities have phone numbers you can call that help protect students in trouble. This is the way to go. All schools should adopt this method. I believe it would save lives.

Many underage students get alcohol from other students. A government study showed 58 percent of students ages 18-22 drank in the last month. A big way to combat students of age from buying alcohol for younger students is by having the universities hand out punishment as well as the police. If students are afraid of being kicked out of their university, they might think twice about buying a younger student alcohol. Personally, if I knew I could be expelled from school if I purchased alcohol for a minor, I would not even entertain the idea.

Another very scary result of college drinking that results in serious safety issues is binge drinking. When a student binge drinks, not only is he/she putting themselves at risk, they are putting others around them at risk as well. There are almost 700,000 cases of assault annually from students involving alcohol. Not only does that number show how unsafe college campuses can be, it shows that these numbers tend to stay the same over the years. This is troubling. Binge drinking needs to be addressed. Students need to hear from other students who have had negative experiences. Maybe they could speak with other students to give others a first-hand account on how binge drinking causes violence and can lead to other serious situations.

In addition to drinking-related violence, another huge factor is driving under the influence. I think it’s a good idea for schools to prohibit freshmen from having a vehicle for this very reason. I believe this might help reduce the temptation of drinking and driving. Another good solution to this issue could be university police who are responsible for checking sobriety at different areas around campus. If found guilty of driving under the influence, I believe a student should be kicked out of school for at least a semester. Students need to know they have something to lose. Someone who is willing to drive drunk is showing a disregard for their safety and the safety of others. If they know they can lose out on the money it costs to go to school for a semester, they might think again.

Alcohol is a very dangerous substance if not enjoyed in moderation. It can affect students’ lives for the worst physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can also negatively affect everyone around them in case of a violent incident or accident. Most universities face issues regarding alcohol while having the ability to decrease the statistics. I believe the only way to make college campuses safer is to involve all parties – students, faculty, and administration. Alcohol is not going to go away; it has been a safety problem for decades. Reaching students on all levels could help reduce accidents and deaths. Students need to remember that one wrong decision can drastically change the rest of their lives. It all starts with us.”

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For more information on the next scholarship period which will be for Fall 2017, please see our law firm’s scholarship page. Congratulations again, Andrew! Good luck in all your future endeavors.

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