How Universities are Dealing with Student Drinking

How Universities are Dealing with Student Drinking
How Universities are Dealing with Student Drinking
As much as faculty members, the student body, and parents can deny it, the simple truth is that many students participate in drinking. Some of this drinking occurs on campus despite rules prohibiting the activity, and to complicate matters further, many students taking part in drinking are under the legal age to consume alcohol. With such a large student population to look after, it can become next to impossible to catch and punish all offenders, but that does not mean that schools are not trying to crack down on underage and on-campus alcohol consumption.

Reprimanding students for illegally drinking is not just the university’s way of making life for students difficult. Aside from simply enforcing the law, many schools actively combat alcohol consumption because it can lead to a number of consequences. In fact, 20 percent of all freshman deaths were related to alcohol during the 2000-05 period, according to Prof. David J. Hanson of the State University of New York at Potsdam. These deaths could be the direct result of drinking, such as in cases of alcohol poisoning, or the result of the impaired judgment caused by drinking, such as in cases where the victim’s death is caused by exposure to the elements or from falling out of windows or balconies. Students who gorge themselves drinking during college are also more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol later in life. For these reasons, schools strive to prevent student drinking in order to keep their scholars safe and to prevent future cases of alcohol and substance abuse. For example, Virginia Tech has a strict no alcohol policy that requires the school to contact the parents of any underage students caught drinking, intoxicated, or possessing alcohol. The school hopes that this measure will deter its students from imbibing illegally, especially because students are usually "more concerned about their parents being notified than they are of the legal consequences" of drinking, Edward Spencer, the vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech, told the Washington Post.

Some other schools have gone a different route in dealing with student drinking by offering alcohol counseling services as well as amenities that work to keep intoxicated students safe. For example, Texas Tech provides students with a free cab ride system where those who are out late at night can get a free taxi ride home to anywhere on campus. This prevents students from being tempted to drink and drive, eliminating at least that dangerous factor from the equation. Though most schools want to eradicate illegal drinking altogether, some are also offering programs to keep their intoxicated students safe until student drinking is under control.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/03/

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