Alcohol & College Students: Not a Popular Pairing

December 27, 2011 Category: College News

College life is filled with a variety of new experiences for incoming students–many of them stereotypical and oftentimes negative in nature (crazy frat parties, keggers, hazing, etc.). Where alcohol is concerned, the popular practice of drinking excessively to celebrate the end of the term, a sports win or to just wind down after a long week, has always been frowned upon by colleges and universities in general. With the number of alcohol-related incidents continuing to become a distraction on college campuses, schools across the country are doing what they can to crack down on this troublesome student pastime.

More Distractions

In the attempt to keep students from having too much time on their hands, some schools are testing the waters by amping up the amount of homework assigned–specifically during the weekends. The thought behind this approach is that the more time students spend on the weekends completing and submitting assignments, the less likely they’ll be to go out and drink excessively. Ithaca College in New York is one of the schools waiting to see if this method will get results.

Breathalyzer TestsCollege Students Drinking Alcohol

Some college campuses are taking a page out of the DUI checkpoint book but are putting their own spin on it. Instead of waiting for possibly intoxicated student drivers to get behind the wheel, select schools are working with local bars and restaurants to implement the use of a breathalyzer kiosk device during business hours, which allows students (for a small fee) to check their blood alcohol level throughout the night. The hope is that students will learn how to monitor their alcohol consumption and refrain from driving if their BAC is past the legal limit.

Mandatory Educational Programs

To drive the point home that learning how to drink responsibly should be among students’ priorities in addition to their studies, special alcohol education programs are being introduced at some colleges and universities. On certain campuses where this approach is being used, it is required for all incoming freshmen to participate in this program and successfully pass it as a part of the path towards graduation.

The goal of colleges and universities everywhere is to get the message across that disruptive and reckless behavior due to excessive drinking will not be tolerated. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The real concern for school officials surrounds the idea of personal safety, both behind the wheel as well as when students interact with each other in the community. Ultimately, students are responsible for making the decision as to whether to drink or not and how much when they are on their own time. Because the approaches listed above are still fairly new to college campuses, the data about how effective these methods are is yet to be determined, although a few student surveys have been conducted. While some students surveyed claim the new changes haven’t made much of an impact on their drinking habits (or that of their friends’), many have reported that the topic of alcohol consumption and drinking responsibly has increased among their peers on and off campus.

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