In many colleges across America, students look upon their ability to drink alcohol with a sense of pride. Some students even brag about how much they had to drink on a given night, and have dozens of drinks every month. This sort of behavior is a source of serious concern for university administrators, who fear that it can lead to increased incidents of violent crimes, drunk driving and serious or fatal accidents.
Contrary to public perception, drinking in college has actually gone down from its peak in the 1980s. Researchers say, however, that more alcohol is being consumed by fewer people; that is, some students drink far more than their more temperate classmates.
Administrators are working to change the drinking culture in these students to try to protect the health and safety of their student body. At Maryland’s Frostburg University, students are given strict lectures about alcohol abuse almost from the moment they walk through the door. The university’s president says he is working to move the college away from its reputation as a party school, and prevent the violence and injuries that come with it.
For example, a Frostburg student once punched another student in the face after a night of strong drinking. The injuries nearly killed the student. Such an event is not only extremely traumatizing for the victim and his family, but it also presents liability issues for the school on top of the extremely serious charges that the attacker must face.
Incidents of drunk driving present similar difficulties for students, as a conviction for DWI can put a serious dent in a student’s future.
Though America’s universities are facing a difficult task, Frostburg’s president says his college is making progress. In the last six years, the number of students who binge drink has fallen from 54 to 41 percent, a trend that has reportedly led to higher academic achievement and fewer disciplinary issues.
The Bulletin, “As college-age drinking changes, schools shift strategies to fight it” Jenna Johnson, Sep. 07, 2013