Ye Olde Student Life: TSL Argues for Prohibition
Samuel Breslow | Feb. 17, 2017, 10:51 a.m.
The Claremont Colleges today are not exactly known as a dry campus, but back in 1925, during the height of the Prohibition era (1919–33), the temperance movement was going strong. It’s impossible to know exactly what then-Editor-In-Chief George W. Savage—who wrote this editorial for our Feb. 23, 1925 issue—would think if he could spend a Friday night at CMC in 2017, but I feel fairly confident in predicting that he would not approve.
Forces of Right
In an important meeting held at the University of Southern California last week, three thousand Students pledged themselves to the righteous cause of prohibition enforcement, agreeing that the final success of prohibition in this country is now a problem primarily of education. It is significant that such a move should come from the students of a large and well known institution which is situated in a hotbed of corruption of the forces of law. Certain it is that law and the Volstead Act have been casually sneered upon by many college students, and a few organizations are openly known to countenance a “drinking party” as the best way of enjoying a social function. Authors have painted the Picture that Johnny, who comes to college, must be able to down his “highball” or whiskey without a sputter or wry face if he would be thoroughly collegiate. All this is of course interesting reading for the liquor interests and wonderful advertising for the local bootleggers.
The liquor interests have long known the value of an insidious propaganda of education hoping to convince all of us that our personal liberty has been snatched from us and that light wines and beer would settle all petty worries and troubles, and in this way many of our nationally known magazines have condescended to play bat-boy for the distillers and jobbers of “fire water.” One publication in particular finds a great source of humor in painting a weekly picture of "Aunty Everything" with an “add infinitum” [sic] list that is too long to record here.
If prohibition is to be a success in the future all thoughtful persons and organizations will do well to recognize that in education is the solution of our national disregard for law. The action of the students of our neighboring institution is service in the cause of law and respect for law. It is the beginning of a campaign to prove to the world that students are not as they have been pictured and to have three thousand students collectively slap the faces of a corps of liquor barons why would make mints of money out of human bodies is of untold value to the cause of prohibition. John Barleycorn is dead and buried, but the distillers, in the form of fake spiritualists, would have us believe his spirit is risen again. It is this false testimony that students and education may counteract.
Pomona can pride itself in the fact that the liquor problem is not present on our campus but the question is, should we rest on our pride saying “amen” to what the Trojans have done and then go on about our daily tasks? If we are to be known as a progressive, rational, and Christian institution, Pomona students will do more than echo amen. They will adopt similar resolutions in support of a college movement of education for law enforcement. The University of Southern California has launched the drive, let us assume our part in present and future responsibility and aid the forces of right.