Only a few hours after a UF student died, presumably in an alcohol-related car accident, UF President Bernie Machen used the news to fuel the fire against underage drinking.
Machen announced the death at Friday's UF Board of Trustees meeting. We know using it as another reason against underage drinking was inevitable, but it was tasteless to bring it up just hours after the tragedy.
But there's no denying that we have to learn from this.
Machen speaks as though this is only UF's burden to bear, but it's not. This is the entire Gainesville community's problem. UF has formed a community coalition to help prevent student alcohol abuse. Incoming students must complete a mandatory alcohol-awareness program. We're not sure how much more UF can do to combat underage and binge drinking, but UF cannot solely take the blame. The bars are to blame for allowing people who are underage to get away with drinking. Our friends are to blame for letting us drive home after we've had a few beers. We are to blame for getting behind the wheel after drinking.
It's unfortunate it takes a senseless death to remind us how to live.