Binge Drinking On America

Binge Drinking on America’s Campuses
What do a DWI ticket, frequent memory lapses, falling behind in schoolwork, and unplanned sexual activity have in common? If you guessed that these are the most common results of binge drinking by college students, you would be correct (Thompson, J.J. 63). A recent survey revealed that almost half of college students engage in “binge drinking”, and half of those who binge drink do so regularly (McCormick, John; Kalb, Claudia 89). It is not the half that drinks responsibly that needs addressing or programs targeting them; it is the other half of students that engage in so-called binge drinking. This paper aims to discuss both the scope of binge drinking on the campuses of America’s colleges and universities and techniques used to combat it. Binge drinking is defined as, “five or more drinks for a man at any one time within a two-week period, four or more drinks for a woman” (Thompson, J.J. 63). Binge drinking is rampant on today’s colleges and university campuses. Schools affected are both large and small, just as they are both urban and rural.
At the same time America has managed to keep the same percentage of its students from drinking entirely for the last five years, binge drinking has been on the rise (Thompson, J.J. 63). While 49 percent of college students binge, only 28 percent of their non-college counterparts do (McCormick, John; Kalb, Claudia 89), clearly illustrating the divide that exists between students and non-students. These figures are upsetting in that one would expect universities to be the breeding ground for new leaders and innovative thinkers in society while these figures make today’s college campuses look like nothing more than National Lampoon’s Animal House- a drunken debauchery.
Consider these facts: For women, this study found that 80% of sorority house residents had binged during the last 2 weeks prior to this study compared with 58% of non-resident sorority women, and 35% of non-Greek women. As for the men, the study found that during the previous two weeks, 86% of fraternity house residents had binged compared to 71% of non-resident fraternity men and 45% for non-Greek men (Core Institute pars. 1-2). If there has ever been a clearer cut case for reformation of the Greek system, it has never been presented. This problem was tragically brought to light in 1996 with the media attention given to the death of a Louisiana State University student who died in the fraternity house from acute alcohol poisoning. Tragically, the numbers of students dying of alcohol related causes are rising steadily each year.
With the ever increasing costs of higher education, one would think that students would be committed to gaining the best education possible; but a 1996 study leaves little doubt that a student’s GPA can be directly influenced by the amount of alcohol consumed. Nearly 37,000 students at 66 four-year colleges and universities were surveyed about their drinking habits and it was revealed that students with an A average consume a little more than three drinks per week, B students have almost five drinks per week, C students average more than six drinks per week and students getting Ds or Fs consume an average of nine drinks per week (Core Institute par. 6). The statistics are alarming, yet most students still are not listening. In addition, A higher percentage of binge drinkers than non-binge drinkers reported having experienced alcohol-related problems since the beginning of the school year. Frequent binge drinkers were 22 times more likely than non-binge drinkers to have:
Ҽ Missed Class
º Fallen Behind in School Work
º Engaged in Unplanned Sexual Activity
º Not Used Protection When Having Sex
º Damaged Property
º Gotten in Trouble With Campus Police
º Been Hurt or Injured
º Driven a Car After Drinking
º Used Other Drugs
(Booze News pars. 1-15).”
In addition, 90% of all violence on college campuses is alcohol related, 80% of all males who commit date rape on college campuses are drunk or have been drinking, 55% of all victims of college date rape/rape are drunk or have been drinking, 55% of all successful suicides on college campuses begin with a drink, and the number one cause of death for all males from the ages of 16 to 25 are all alcohol related