i Binge Drinking in College | College Writing: Debate(s) In Higher Education
21. November 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Blog Post 3

Brittany Vosen

It is a common action for students attending college to drink. In fact, according to the SNC web page on alcohol, about 50% to 60% of students drink moderately and 20% to 25% of students drink heavily. To college students, drinking may be a fun activity to spend time with friends and meet new people, or it could be a time to relieve stress. No matter the reason, binge drinking at SNC college can lead to poor decision making made by students.

It is reasonable to believe that binge drinking enables bad behavior but does not cause it. For example, in the article “What About Binge Drinking“, the author, Susan O’Doherty, discusses how alcohol can enable rape culture but does not cause it. However, in the article, the author also admits doing some “very stupid alcohol-fueled things in college”. This supports the opinion that alcohol may not be the initial factor that is causing bad decision making.

Even though binge drinking may not be the initial cause of the bad behavior and poor decision making, it still influences students to make poor decisions and express bad behavior. According to the article “The Missing Factor”, studies show that at least half of sexual assaults on college campuses involve the use of alcohol. In order for sexual assaults on campuses to decrease, colleges must reach out to their students about binge drinking. The author of “The Missing Factor” article, Raynard S. Kington, states that “If the Obama Administration wants to combat sexual assaults on campus, it needs to start talking about alcohol abuse”. By reaching out to students to discuss the effects of binge drinking at SNC, students will be more aware of the effects and will likely drink more responsibly.

Binge drinking not only can lead to sexual assault but also can lead to other violence and injury as well. Here at SNC, there have been multiple physical assaults taken place on campus. All the assaults were handled by campus safety and the perpetrators were punished properly. Most of the physical assaults were by students that consumed alcohol. When I reached out to one of the students who committed an assault to ask why they did it, their response was “I don’t know. I was drunk”. I then asked the student if alcohol was not involved, then would they have still committed an assault, and the student responded: “If I wasn’t drunk then I would have never done it”. From this interview, it can be concluded that alcohol is a leading factor in causing violence and injury.
Binge drinking not only can be a leading factor for major issues like sexual assault and physical assault but can also be a leading factor for minor issues such as vandalizing property. For the past two years at SNC, window screens have been being punched out of Bruke Hall. Unfortunately, this results in all the residents of Burke Hall to split the cost of buying new window screens. This vandalism takes place during the weekends, which is a prime time for the residents of Burke hall to drink. Being a part of the Burke community, I know what the atmosphere is like on the weekends, which is why it is reasonable to believe that the culprits of the vandalism of the windows were most likely drunk.

Even though binge drinking is a leading factor in causing these problems, these problems can be eliminated or lessened.With the help of parents, students at SNC can be more informed about the dangers of binge drinking. In the article “For Freshmen,Campus Life Imposes New Risks“, the author discusses that parents should communicate with their children about difficult-to-discuss topics to influence the child’s choices they make while they are away at college. In the article, the author offers research that suggests that parents can play a significant role in their child’s new, risky behavior by “continuing to talk openly with them, so they know that you are aware of and care about their friends and activities”. The article also includes expert evidence-based advice on how college students can safely navigate through college. Danielle Dooley, a pediatrician at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., gave the advice of talking to your child about sexual assault. Dooley suggests for parents to have a conversation about sexual assault with their child so they understand that social pressures, consent, and impaired judgment caused by alcohol can lead to sexual assault. The advice given in this article can potentially help parents build a better relationship with their child in order for their child to make better decisions.

SNC can also help educate students on binge drinking by offering educational programs. These education programs should not tell students not to drink but tell students how to drink responsibly. Students are going to drink no matter how many times they are told not to, so it would be more beneficial to them if they are taught how to drink responsibly then to not drink at all.

College is supposed to be a fun, learning environment for students to experience, but that experience can soon turn dark if they go down the road of binge drinking. With the proper education and programs given to students, the dangers that binge drinking imposes on students can soon diminish. If the dangers of binge drinking diminish, college will become a safer environment for students and more enjoyable.

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