So, I've been following this blog almost religiously, and I haven't really seen one that specifically addresses alcohol consumption. I think it is a pretty important issue, and I'm curious to see what people have to say about it. We all know a lot of students drink here in Whitewater, and it seems to be taken very lightly. Professors joke about the drinking habits of students, students have walked into classrooms after having a few, there are t-shirts out there being sold/worn by groups affiliated with the university that say things like, "It's not alcoholism til you graduate!" and advertising for "Thirsty Thursday", and there are usually ads in the school paper promoting different bars. So you get the idea. Drinking is promoted it seems, and never really ridiculed, however, I find there are reasons for it to be.
First, we have the story of Trey - the boy who was hit and killed by a drunk driver last year. Why is it that the front page of the school paper is all about "Zumba for Trey" and stories are printed about raising funds for his memorial "Field of Dreams", but the next page is all about drink specials and hangover breakfasts? I see a bit of a disconnect here - why do we need funds for a baseball field (when I am told there are three currently functioning fields in this town already) when the excessive drinking and miscarriage of responsibility (the original cause of the tragedy) is not addressed or even mentioned at all (unless I missed something)?
Second, there was a bust this school year that involved something like 140 students who were packed in a single basement. Is the need to party and drink so intense that students really feel compelled to enter a basement containing 100+ students (risking their safety), and actually STAY there until the cops manage to show up? What is the reasoning here?
Third, I have a story regarding someone I know. Spring break came around and a group of students (who drink regularly during the semester) went to party somewhere down south. During the vacation, one of the students drank excessively, ate sparingly, and hung out in the sun for several days straight, and probably got little sleep. This lead to a serious medical condition (Delirium Tremens was the diagnosis) that had to be treated at the hospital. Not only does this show that the effects of excessive drinking are REAL, but it also shows how far some students will go with their drinking. (This person now takes caution when drinking).
And lastly, I heard from someone (and this can be taken with a grain of salt, yet it still adds to the equation somewhat) that there are employers out there who, upon reviewing applications from people who have graduated from UW Whitewater, like to steer away from UWW graduates, because of how much of a "well-known party school" UWW is. Even if this is not exactly true, it makes me wonder - are we really seen this way at UWW? Does this school drink and party so much that employers avoid hiring UWW graduates?
Along with this, we have the "hook-up culture" that was brought up in a previous blog, that I don't doubt for a second is HIGHLY HIGHLY related to the "drinking culture" of college. I mean, if you're going to be hooking up with a stranger, it's a lot easier to do so when you've had a few (where do most college kids go to hook up? The bars or house parties). What's more, drinking can't be helping performance in school, especially when we have mid-week drinking nights like dimers on Tuesdays and Thirsty Thursdays.
Ok ok so I got the negatives out of the way. So let me address the positives - yes drinking is fun. I'll admit I'm currently sipping on a drink right now. It's relaxing, and makes people feel more comfortable around strangers. It ignites parties and gets people in touch with their "inner Satyrs", if you will. It unleashes some more, natural, uninhibited actions and emotions of people, and detaches everyone from the everyday humdrum activities and motions of daily life. This is all fine and dandy, but whatever happened to moderation? It appears to me that many students go far beyond what is beneficial, and take it to the extreme - you know the saying, "too much of a good thing is a bad thing".
So my question is, are we too alcoholic? Does anyone care if we are? Is it all about individuals and their ability to be personally responsible for their drinking habits? Does an effective message need to be sent out to the masses? Does UWW promote drinking a little too much? If so, can anything be done? Is this school a bad influence to incoming students who maybe have not yet developed a drinking habit? Just looking for thoughts here.