College presidents generally are loath to take stands on hot-button issues. So it speaks volumes about the extent of underage alcohol use that 123 college presidents - including Santa Clara University's Paul Locatelli - are calling for a public debate on the effects of the 21-year-old drinking age.

Lowering the drinking age is not the answer to binge drinking in college. It would only push the problem down to high school, where some students drink even now, and increase the number of teens who die in car accidents.

But we agree that it's time to talk about this problem. Young people, parents and communities suffer from the trend of overt, excessive drinking in the late teens. What we need is a culture change in teenagers' approach to drinking, and lowering the drinking age won't help bring that about.

. . . . . .

Read Full Editorial