ITHACA, N.Y. — A Cornell student is suing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after claiming that the legal drinking age of 21 makes him feel “ostracized and excluded” from other graduate students.

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The action was filed by Matthew Uhalde Wednesday at the Tompkins County Court.

According to the documents, Uhalde claims to have graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree and was admitted to a graduate program at Cornell University in fall 2015, at the age of 19.

Uhalde says that because nearly all unofficial graduate school activities involve alcohol, he is not able to have a social life of form bonds with his peers.

The documents state, “Mr. Uhlade feels ostracized and excluded. The State’s minimum drinking age prevents him with associating with his classmates and peers. This is causing Mr. Uhalde to to experience emotional distress.”

In a phone interview with Uhalde, he said, “It’s really cool that I go into grad school at 19.”

But he said he’s struggled to maintain an active social life because of his age.

“I don’t think that’s fair because I’m an independent adult. I have a college degree,” Uhalde said.

He went onto say that he understands the case might be dismissed, but he wanted to take a stand.

“I guess I’m just trying to make a statement,” Uhalde said. “I’m really not trying to be a rebel or be defiant or cause problems.”

He said he does not have an attorney for this case as of Wednesday night.

Cornell student sues New York Attorney General: Says drinking age unconstitutional

Cornell student sues New York Attorney General: Says drinking age unconstitutional

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.