|By Koolgorl (Koolgorl) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 09:17 pm: Edit|
It breaks my heart and angers me that with the recent death reported at U of Arkansas yesterday, there will be four alcohol poison deaths related to fraternity activities this year already. My S is at an Ivy that seemed to me to have an overly tolerant approach to drinking. "We simply want the students to be safe and healthy. It is well known that no one ever gets in trouble for bringing to the university hospital a fellow student who has had too much to drink." I heard from a student at Oklahoma that the fraternity brothers of the Sigma Chi that died were worried about him but afraid to take him to the ER because the fraternity or student would get in trouble. Instead they let him die. I guess I'm less upset by the Ivy attitude now. My S has had some trouble finding a group on Friday or Saturday nite (particularly among the freshman) that do something besides drink. I assured him there were others like him, he just hadn't found them yet--keep looking. I think because fraternities aren't that big there the hazing drinking is less of issue. That seems to be where most of the death incidents come from. I wish there was something the schools could do to better address the problem. I think they have tried and failed.
|By Hoo_29 (Hoo_29) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 09:50 pm: Edit|
I can't imagine dying through alcohol poisoning. It's just common sense!
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Monday, October 04, 2004 - 10:00 pm: Edit|
Apparently there were four otherwise admittable students without it. In any case, after about 3-4 drinks, your commons sense is mildly impaired.
I think the combination of initiation rites, drinking games, and other factors make this something that is more easily slipped into than one would hope. I don't have a solution. It does seem to be a greater problem generally than some decades ago, even though students drank then as well. I don't know why.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 01:50 am: Edit|
>> I can't imagine dying through alcohol poisoning. It's just common sense!
It most commonly results from rapid-fire ingestion of hard liquor shots -- either from drinking games, fraternity initiation, or (on campuses where public drinking is banned) an attempt to get "really, really drunk" before heading off to a party.
The amounts of alcohol required for a lethal blood alcohol level in the 0.40 range are staggering. We are talking 16 to 32 shots of whiskey. What happens is that kids drink those quanitities in the hour before the first drink is fully absorbed into the bloodstream -- thus, by the time any natural triggers to stop drinking occur, it's already too late.
|By Txtaximom (Txtaximom) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 02:01 am: Edit|
Where my son attends, there is a mandatory freshman alcohol seminar. There is also a point system for alcohol infractions, but there are no points given (amnesty)if you are getting aid for another intoxicated student. There are still a lot of incidents reported in both the local and campus papers.
|By Koolgorl (Koolgorl) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 05:55 am: Edit|
I think Hoo29 is an example of what happens to normal kids that don't realize how easy it is to make a life threatening decision. "Oh, I'd get sick before I'd get alcohol poisoning," or kids who just don't realize the facts as Interesteddad stated. Their bodies are already poisoned before they even feel drunk. Does the mandatory alcohol seminar talk about those facts?
|By Parentofteen (Parentofteen) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 05:53 pm: Edit|
The Duke freshmen had to take an online alcohol awareness course with an exam prior to the beginning of classes in August. I did not ask my daughter much about the course since she is a non-drinker/non-partier. Hopefully, this course did fully address the dangers of alcohol poisoning. All I know is that many of my daughter's hallmates do drink heavily all week long.
Her entire suite is often vacant until the wee hours because her suitemates are partying and getting drunk in the middle of the week. The only good thing about it for her is that she has plenty of peaceful study time alone in her room each evening; on the bad side, once she falls asleep, the drunken hallmates often wake her up as they return from their parties.
Yes, she has made many non-drinking friends and some who only drink responsibly. Since she has grown up in a non-drinking household, I knew that the college party scene would be a rude awakening for her. Luckily, she has maintained a very mature attitude about the entire situation and does not allow it to bother her.
I am truly bothered that so many underage kids are drinking nowadays - and so heavily. I wish that colleges could and would police the situation more aggressively.
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 06:17 pm: Edit|
What parents need to understand is that this is truly a school specific thing. I have a child at Princeton where drinking is not the norm. I have one at Dartmouth where it is. Let's just say that Duke and Dartmouth will not be on my third child's list. As well as several others where there are very real problems. The temptation and peer pressure is just too great for many. My $40K will not go to schools that don't have some control in the future.
|By Koolgorl (Koolgorl) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 06:28 pm: Edit|
Do you think the fraternity hazing thru drinking is part of the alcohol poisoning increase? I know hazing is suppose to be outlawed for fraternities, but it seems like they have just gone undercover and increased the alcohol part of it. I know there are over 1400 deaths a year amongst undergraduates related to alcohol most of them drinking and driving situations. Its too many!
|By Garland (Garland) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 07:12 pm: Edit|
I agree with Lfill--my S at Columbia is not experiencing this kind of atmosphere; there is drinking there, but it does not seem at all ubiquitous. There are frat parties, but few people he knows go to them. It was quite different at the first school my D went to. It's sad for a kid to be the only one in the hall every night--it'd break my heart when she called home and sounded so out of step with everyone else. She got so she thought there was something wrong with her, which is why her decision to transfer was so empowering, because she found a school where she didn't feel like an oddball.
|By Toblin (Toblin) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 07:42 pm: Edit|
"4th alcohol poisoning death this year"
Many more than four college freshmen have soberly fallen down stairs/bunk beds/curbs/etc. and died as a result this year. We live in a country of almost 300 million people for goodness sake! It may be personally rewarding and even allot’ of group fun sweating the contrived implications of such, but it is also intellectually dishonest.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 07:50 pm: Edit|
I was Greek in college. We had a case, maybe two, in my years related to guys getting too rough during hazing. Nothing alcohol related. This new twist is disturbing. The fact that all four deaths happened to fraternity members or guests of members is troubling. Whether or not the young woman at Colorado State started out at the frat, that's where she ended up. Although when I last checked, the Arkansas frat member died in his apartment, did he start out with brothers and did he start at the house? There have been news stories in our home state for years of alcohol related hazing deaths.
What I find most disturbing was that Xiggi's friend at Colorado State had been "chiefed", so someone was with him very near the end, since that is traditionally done when the person has passed out from what I understand. I suspect that someone was with the other three very near - if not at - the end. If something could have been done, it was not. So sad.
I know that binge drinking is a problem on campuses across this country. The bigger problem to me now seems to be the fact that the fraternities are providing a venue for this behavior. The universities have suspended the frats in question during the investigations. That seems to me to be a band-aid. Until the universities and colleges start permanently removing those organizations that promote such behavior, the headlines will continue to be filled with such sad news.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit|
Toblin, we are not discussing accidental deaths, we are discussing preventable deaths.
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit|
What I find shocking is how little things have changed in the 30 plus years since I was in college. In this day and age of MADD and oodles of information and education, many colleges are still turning a blind eye towards illegal and just plain dangerous behavior. My husband went to a school famous for it's Greek life and drinking when it was still all male. We had no clue that fully coed and much more diverse than in years past, the culture had changed so little. How is this possible? Frats that cross the line are thrown off campus, their house turned over to another frat until they cross the line. Even more scary is the fact that we know so many very bright, top students who choose these schools for the party culture.
|By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit|
Drinking not the norm at Princeton? hahahahahahaah
|By Engmom (Engmom) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 09:04 pm: Edit|
I agree. Princeton is well known for their drinking. I used to live in the neighboring town and got to read repetitive reports in the newspaper about abusive drinking at the "eating" clubs and arrests by the police. When the alumni have their reunion weekends, they drink the entire weekend. . .a fine example they set for the students
|By Hoo_29 (Hoo_29) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 10:19 pm: Edit|
I still think it is common sense. The news said that the CSU girl drank 30 shots before she died. That is just insane. ANYBODY should know better than that. And drinking is HUGE at UGA, and seriously, I have never been so pressured to drink in my life.
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 10:40 pm: Edit|
People drink all the time and don't die (immediately) from it as in these instances.
"We had no clue that fully coed and much more diverse than in years past, the culture had changed so little."
Actually, I'm stunned that it has changed so much. In the non-coed, rowdy male days we had nowhere near the number incidents that we seem to have today. Or so it seems. Perhaps its just national reporting.
|By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 11:16 pm: Edit|
I do think its the reporting. I've met people who lost friends to being drunk and driving, one died after graduation party, another-at a frat party-falling to death while under the influence. Escort services were initiated in late 70's when I worked on campus, because of record # of rapes.
Personally, I'm glad for the publicity, and teaching kids simple lessons about alc toxicity and need for treatment. Same goes for hazing and sexual harassment
|By Koolgorl (Koolgorl) on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit|
The student's "brothers" at OU appeared to be worried about him, but were afraid to take him to hospital for fear of getting fraternity or themselves in trouble. So they put him in bed and covered him up so he could "sleep it off". Altho the student certainly had personal responsibility for participating in the Big Bro/Little Bro "rite", I couldn't blame the parents for suing the school, the National fraternity, the actual frat members and even the pledges for the compliance in the death. I can't imagine how any of these families are coping?
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 02:30 am: Edit|
>> In the non-coed, rowdy male days we had nowhere near the number incidents that we seem to have today.
The amount of alchohol consumed in these fatalities is staggering. Based on the on-line calculators, the freshman at U Colorado was estimated to have consumed an entire 750ml bottle of bourbon during the fraternity initiation in the mountains (about half an hour).
It is very difficult to get to .30 or .40 blood alcohol levels. Really, it's pretty much impossible without drinking games or being "egged on" to chug whiskey shots in some fashion or another.
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 08:30 am: Edit|
I think InterestedDad is right. When you consume this stuff on your own, without an external objective (gaining attention,...being egg'ed on) it doesn't happen in these same ways(not that its good for you).
Another factor in these indicents may be the use of liquor instead of beer (PS. I'm not exempting beer as a culprit). If you mix the stuff with enough sweet things like lemonade or whathaveyou, its clearly possible to put your system into an oncoming, unavoidable state that it "cannot get back from" Technically like swimming out into the lake too far and realizing you don't have the capacity to return.
I suspect that a good non-medical test would be that if a person is unable to object persistently over the course of say an hour or so against being taken (carried) to the hospital or ER, then you need to take him. No warranty on this test, of course. The other problem is that the guys you're counting on to pull you out are likely close to as impaired as you are. Not a constructive situation.
As long as we're on the topic, here's a site I just stumbled(no pun) across. May have some items of interest.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit|
>>>The student's "brothers" at OU appeared to be worried about him, but were afraid to take him to hospital for fear of getting fraternity or themselves in trouble. So they put him in bed and covered him up so he could "sleep it off".
I agree with Koolgorl, being worried is not enough. In the end, putting yourself and your fraternity above the life of another human being because you are afraid that it will make life a mess for you is selfishness in its purist form. Alcohol induced, perhaps, but if they were still able to think analytically about the ramifications of calling an ambulance, they were sober enough to think about the ramifications of not calling the ambulance. Shameful. Looks like there will still be a price to pay.
I also agree with Interesteddad's obversation of external factors.
|By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:33 am: Edit|
At Princeton it is perfectly possible for a kid who so desires to have one beer or one glass of wine in an evening, or absolutely nothing to drink, without any pressure to do otherwise and without feeling excluded from a lively social scene. This is not true at many of the schools my kids' hs peers are attending, where pot is being smoked round the clock in the dorms and the frat boys drink beer for breakfast.
As for the Borough of Princeton, many students (and parents) find their approach to curbing alcohol consumption on campus to be rather disturbing and a violation of students' civil rights. This is an issue in the upcoming local election.
|By Bluealien01 (Bluealien01) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:54 am: Edit|
Perhaps she did not understand what 30 shots were in terms of blood alcohol level.
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:03 am: Edit|
Tropicana, are you at Princeton? If so I will ask my son to bring you to Dartmouth on one of his many visits to see the difference. There is drinking on every campus in the world. At some schools, the social life revolves around it. I was naive about this when my older kids applied to college. I now believe that paying attention to the social cultures of schools is a critical decision. No matter how strong and directed I believe my kids are, they are still kids! Their frontal lobes are not fully developed when they leave for college!! Why send them into an environment that might have challanged Mother Theresa?
|By Xdad (Xdad) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:14 pm: Edit|
Since the accidental death of Gordie Bailey at CU-Boulder, our family has tried to make sense of such tragedy. I've spent much time reading the reports, talking to my children, to their friends, to parents, and I am none the wiser. I am, however, shocked by the general attitude about such incidents, and how little they seem to impact campus life. No later than 48 hours after the death, the school mode was back to the "Party Time" mode. It is shocking, probably as shocking as the cavalier, insensitive, and forgive me for this, extremely ignorant post by Toblin in this thread.
Whenever I turn the radio or TV on, I am hearing an unending barrage of condemnation of the 1,000 deaths of professional soldiers in Iraq. Now compare that with the totally avoidable 1400 deaths in our universities! There is no way to measure the devastation of one single life lost, but it is striking to see what is considered important or worthwile to report.
I hope that some of you had the chance to see the Matt Lauer segment this morning where he interviewed the Bailey family. You may have heard how this family is willing to assume the blame for not having educated sufficiently their son about the danger of drinking. On the other hand, the university, the authorities, and the fraternity have started the "pass-the-buck" game of denying much responsibility. The reality is that I know that the family did all they could in preparing their child for college, and probably more than anyone could imagine. I know because I witnessed it time after time. The child who died had plenty of support, an extended family of very well educated people who watched his every step with a great balance of love, understanding, and freedom, tons of friend, and a great life. Add all of this to the fact that he was an athlete and a very casual drinker, you pretty much have to wonder how it could happen to him.
My conclusion is that it could happen to anyone, and that the deaths do not follow any profile. Simply stated, no amount of education or protection by parents will suffice to eliminate the problem of student binge drinking. When sending our children to college, we are relinquishing -mostly are forced to- most of our authority and hoping that our children will find some safety nets. The reality is that those safety nets are full of gaping holes, and that the warning signs of danger are still ignored by most everyone. We, as parents cannot ignore our continuing responsibility, but it is time to demand a greater accountability by the institutions and organizations that attract our children.
|By Demingy (Demingy) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:23 pm: Edit|
I wholeheartedly agree. I'd also like to extend my thoughts to your family and friends as you guys work through this.
What I found sad was that CSU had decided to make the stadium a dry stadium after their alcohol related death and the students were in an uproar. The students argued that it was unnecessary because she hadn't died drinking at a game. I guess that the school is supposed to wait until someone binge drinks (and dies) at a game before they can take action?
I think it is fairly obvious that some of these schools aren't doing everything they can. All you have to do is look at the varying statistics compared to the varying policies. Of course the schools can't stop this from happening at all, nor can they stop students from drinking themselves to death if they choose. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't try to do what they can.
I think most of the parents can agree that their kids (in all honestly) *could* use drugs, drink, have sex, etc no matter what the parent says or does. BUT you guys still talk to your kids because if you don't then you can almost guarantee that those things will happen. That's what I call common sense, and I don't think it is too much of a stretch to compare this to the schools.
|By Cangel (Cangel) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:47 pm: Edit|
>What I found sad was that CSU had decided to make the stadium a dry stadium after their alcohol related death and the students were in an uproar. The students argued that it was unnecessary because she hadn't died drinking at a game. I guess that the school is supposed to wait until someone binge drinks (and dies) at a game before they can take action?<
That is sad! For starters, it is ILLEGAL for most of those kids to drink, and while I may disagree with that law, and realize that enforcement is impossible, if that is the course the school chooses to take - they shouldn't back down because the students don't like it - doesn't the university and the state have a tremendous legal responsibility in this?
I have come to believe that college drinking has to be a 2-way street between the admin and the students. The ideal situation would be for kids to drink quietly and responsibly on their own, underage or not, and for the admin to look the other way, providing support services (inc. security) for the occasional over-indulgence. Its not perfect, but at some campuses it works that way. But in the absence of quiet responsible behavior by the students, I think the univ has the right and the obligation to act in loco parentis, as well as the responsibility to comply with the law.
Backing down just makes it worse!
This is like smoking, in the early 60s large numbers of people smoked, not one thought much about it. These people we now know were killing themselves, albeit slowly rather than dramatically downing 30 shots in 2 hours, but it was socially acceptable, sometimes expected behavior (like playing pong at a frat party). What has changed is that through a drumbeat of education, it has become socially unacceptable to smoke and undesireable for large numbers of people. Unfortunately, thousands have had to die for this change to happen, and the dying hasn't stopped.
Thousands of kids won't die of binge drinking, but they do die in car wrecks,from falls, etc, with guns (do you know how many drunk people commit suicide? I've worked at an ME office - its a lot) - we the parents are were this has to stop.
|By Sac (Sac) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 01:53 pm: Edit|
I don't think anyone has mentioned the possibility that smoking marijuana also can contribute to alcohol poisoning, since it inhibits nausea and therefore vomiting.
I've never understood the attraction of drinking till you puke, but there must be an attraction, because I came across a board game kids play (yes, some company actually manufactures this) called: Drink Till You Puke. You move your piece around the board and must drink whatever quantity it says on the square you land on.
And, how about some responsibility on the part of the liquor companies marketing their flavored vodkas and gins and -- the latest -- beer with caffeine so you can drink and still study. This is all aimed at "people in their twenties" they would have us believe, just like Joe Camel and other tobacco cartoons were only aimed at "young adults" and not teenagers.
|By Eadad (Eadad) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 05:57 pm: Edit|
The truly frightening thing is the air of invincibility that pervades all of our children. The prevailing thought that "it can't or won't happen here or to me" because in most cases the victims are just names and it is difficult to relate or connect on a personal level.
As you may remember, three plus years ago our school community was struck with the tragic death of two members of the junior class in a car accident where excessive speed was to blame. The immediate effect was that everyone became a more cautious and slower driver.... for a while. Unfortunately, it wasn't too long after that driving fast became the norm again. And here they were, with a clear and tangible relationhip with a lot of pain and suffering among their peers, yet in no time, everyone was back to their old ways of driving faster than they should. The message didn't stick.
We had the two deaths in less than a month in Colorado yet within weeks of Gordie's death, we see an alcohol related death at OU and now Arkansas. My son's reaction (as I am sure was Xiggi's) to the news from OU was shock...he asked " ...haven't they learned anything?... how many more have to die?"
Now I fervently hope and pray that this attitude will stay with him (and Xiggi) for a while since Gordie's death was the first to hit their class and circle of friends, and pray that his classmates will gain something positive and learn something from this horrible horrible tragedy.
As parents we can only hope that we have instilled values,wisdom and most of all trust in our children. Not just us trusting them to make the right decisions, but them trusting that we have given them the proper guidance to make these difficult life decisions. The trust that we are not constantly sitting in judgement of their actions, but rather simply trying to add the wisdom that comes with age and experience. This trust is by far tougher to come by and far too easy to lose.
I am sorry that I missed seeing Xiggi at the memorial service because I had to leave immediately after the service. I hope that you are all well and are working your way through the aftermath of this senseless event.
|By Xdad (Xdad) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 06:18 pm: Edit|
Eadad, how nice to hear from you. I could not have said it better.
I also believed that Gordie's legacy might be an increased awareness of the dangerous issues facing our kids in school. I still hope that his death will help our kids make tough decisions a bit easier.
I hope that UNC won't run out of new challenges for P. He is very often in our thoughts as Xiggi's sister still loves to wear her numerous UNC sport sweatshirts -despite the fading and thinning fabric. Her personal rankings of best colleges in the nation has more to do with bouncing balls than how well they teach Plato!
|By Momofonly (Momofonly) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 09:26 pm: Edit|
A friend of mine's son just graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in June. My friend told me that the graduation ceremony was at 8 AM because the bars in the area opened at 6 AM on that day and they didn't want all the kids to be drunk at graduation.
In my research of colleges, it seems to me that while the colleges don't necessarily condone drinking, neither do they enforce strict policies against it. I think they look the other way unless it's a safety issue.
|By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit|
I'd like to share something from my D's high school that helped prepare her for drinking issues in college. At her school, seniors are required to take one semester of health (a state requirement). She was furious that she had to take this class and thought it was a complete waste of her time. By our very good fortune, she had one of the best teachers of her life, one of the "coolest" and most respected teachers in the school. He's a former coach, a parent, completely in shape physically and mentally. He is also completely up-to-date on all the health and emotional issues high school seniors and college freshmen face. He covered everything you'd want your child to know as an 18-year-old about health issues, drinking, drugs, sex, abusive boyfriends, date rape, etc., in very frank ways. And he knows way more than what I know about current problems, but best of all, because of his great personality and teaching skills, the kids listen to him, believe, and remember.
When the college girl died at Colorado State, some of my D's friends doubted whether you could die just from drinking too much. My D replied, "Oh, yes, you can. Mr. S. taught us about that." I wrote him a sincere thank-you letter at the end of her semester, but I think I need to write another one. I consider it one of the best classes my D ever had.
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 10:20 pm: Edit|
Its a small world. Yesterday I ran into some friends I hadn't seen for a while and they were relating their experience of the shock of losing a recent classmate of their son--a close friend and teammate as well (whom I recognized to be Gordie, from the prior posts and news).
This was the second friend of their son to die in the past three months, the other happening because of an automobile crash.
In any case, one would hope there would be an increase in the number of kids being brought to the infirmary as opposed to being left to sleep it off.
|By Koolgorl (Koolgorl) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 11:16 am: Edit|
Maybe my S's school is right then in really pushing the "no punishment" after the fact, if they bring in any student they worry might be in trouble because of alcohol. It seemed like they were looking the other way to avoid the cause of the problem in the first place--but at least no student is likely to die.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 09:45 am: Edit|
This morning on Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer interviewed Professor James Steyer of Stanford, who also is the head of a watch dog group that has been monitoring the proliferation of web sites that glorify binge drinking with all of the sordid details. I was shocked. Sites like amIdrunk.com and ratemyvomit.com were just a couple of them that feature college and high school students passed out from binge drinking. Some had had pranks pulled on them during the time they were passed out. Magic marker, shaving cream, Q-tips stuck on, etc. I was shocked that sites like this exist, but I was more shocked at the number of sites that exist. According to Prof. Steyer, there is speculation that some of these sites are run by the porn industry since they show women in compromised situations and the language used is less than flattering. His advice is to talk to your kids. The internet culture is here to stay, and they need to know that this is not healthy behavior.
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 10:10 am: Edit|
Colleges are under pressure from their students to be lax about enforcing alcohol policies. Last year, the Harvard Crimson ran a series of articles suggesting that Harvard students have less fun than students at other Ivies, specifically Yale. What it boiled down to was that Harvard (under pressure from Cambridge neighbors, Cambridge and Harvard police) has been rather strict in enforcing the law, whereas in New Haven, the police looks the other way and a great deal more alcohol is available on campus thanks to more lenient college policies.
Below is one article discussing preparations for the Harvard-Yale game. Clearly, students are not very happy.
Students have to take some responsibility for their own beharior. But colleges do the right thing by encouraging students to come to UHS or bring their friends in without fear of being reprimanded or worse.
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 10:40 am: Edit|
Another alcohol related article.
|By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:29 am: Edit|
This AM the Wall St Journal (paid subscription only so I can't post a link) has an article about how group pressure--wanting to be part of a group--can cause people to do things they wouldn't otherwise. They're talking about suicide bombers, but I found it fascinating and emailed copies to both kids (from my account) with a note about bowing to peer pressure.
It did make me wonder how much behavior on college campuses is a result of the group-think of college.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 12:51 pm: Edit|
I noticed something striking during the "colllege hunt" process. The terms "party" and "fun" are often used as veiled synonyms for excessive drinking on campus. So the entire process of college selection instills a concept that lots of heavy binge drinking makes a college "fun" and, conversely, a college that doesn't have a binge drinking culture is considered to be "not fun". The crazy thing is that many of the high school students aping these characteristics have never had a drink in their lives, yet they are receiving the message that, if their college doesn't have a pervasive binge drinking culture, they won't have any "fun".
Notice that guidebooks don't refer to colleges with large numbers of binge drinking acoholics. They refer "great party schools" or schools where kids "work hard and play hard".
All of the cues about alcohol abuse are discretely hidden behind euphemisms such as "Greek life plays a signficant role on campus".
I would recommend that students and their parents learn the euphemisms and pay attention to the clues. Fundamentally, binge drinking is a "campus culture" issues. All the proclamations and regulations touted by college administrators don't amount to a hill of beans if the campus culture is one of binge drinking. For example, if you don't want a binge-drinking college, don't choose one where 50% of the students join fraternities and sororities.
This is a serious issue. Every generation of college age kids has its own vices. This generation clearly leans towards rapid ingestion of mass quantities of alcohol -- either through drinking games or peer pressure. This is a very different phenomomem than visiting a keg of beer over the course of an evening and ending up intoxicated, but not ill or near-death.
|By Demingy (Demingy) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 01:35 pm: Edit|
The sad thing is that this attitude doesn't stop at college graduation. I know several people in my age group (mid to late 20s) who still feel that if you go out to drink you have to have a number of shots and a number of beers or you didn't "really" drink. I just have to shake my head when my best friend is telling me that she "only" had four (or five, she can't remember) hard liquor shots and three beers. Most of the time, my peers (including her) will tell me about going out and drinking much more than that.
I've gone out with several coworkers (many who were in their mid 30s to mid 40s) on many occasions and have been ridiculed for only having one or two drinks (I usually don't even drink, and that apparently foreshadows the second coming).
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit|
Here's link to Dr. Wechsler's (Harvard School of Public Health) most recent survey of binge drinking at a representative sample of 100+ colleges and universities.
You can download the full report in PDF form from that site.
He has found that binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks in one sitting for men, 4 drinks for women, within the last two weeks) has stayed relatively consistent over the last eight years: about 44%. Of these binge drinkers, about half reported as frequent binge drinkers, defined as having consumed 5 or more drinks in a sitting at least three different times in previous two weeks.
He found a huge correlation with living in a frat/sorority house, where the binge drinking rate increased to 75% to 80%.
The rate among fraternity/sorority members was 65%.
In previous surveys, he has also found a correlation between high binge drinking rates and campuses with a prevalent varsity sports emphasis.
The rates were highest for white students, slightly lower for Hispanic, and drastically lower (half or less) for Asian-American and African-American students.
One trend that has shown up over time is what Wechsler desribes as "increased polarization" -- a slight increase in the number of abstainers and an increase in the number of frequent binge drinkers, with fewer respondents in the middle ground (non binge drinkers and occaisional binge drinkers).
Wechsler is a supporter of substance-free dorms, citing a decrease in the occurance of "secondary effects" (i.e. being disturbed or inconvenienced by drunk students) and perhaps a reduced chance of high school abstainers becoming college binge drinkers. However, his data also supports the Swarthmore deans' concern that substance-free dorms (without a substance-free LIFESTYLE commitment) merely exports the drinking problems to other locations on campus, diluting the responsibility for the occupants of a dorm community to police their own behavior. Wechsler's survey found that more than 1 out of 3 living in substance-free dorms reported binge drinking within the prior two weeks!
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 02:33 pm: Edit|
This sounds crazy but I wonder if a breathalizer would help these guys control what they are doing, or whether it possibly would cause people to drink up to the danger limit. Don't know.
Might not work medically speaking anyway because of the delay between ingestion and blood absorption.
One of the problems in controlling/limiting alcohol consumption is that people lose track of what they've consumed. And of course, many never cared in the first place. No flames, please, just musing on the keyboard.
|By Sac (Sac) on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit|
Great posts. I fully agree with you. "Social life" is another code word for alochol-fueled parties. As in, college's without this have "no social life."
What I still have so much trouble understanding is: the increasing participation of women, in spite of the association of alcohol with violence, sexual abuse, and unprotected sex; and the infatuation with drinking till you puke, something that was once considered definitely "uncool." The idea of going out at night with friends to socialize over a few beers doesn't seem to bear any relationship to setting out two or three nights a week to get systematically "trashed" drinking shots with people who might be either friends or strangers.
|By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit|
I just read this additional story about the incredibly sad death of Gordie Bailey.
I find it so difficult to understand how these fraternities and so many young men think that this is normal behavior. What is the responsibility of the national headquarters of these fraternities? I find it hard to believe that they don't know what goes on with these local chapters. I hope that there are follow-up stories on the investigation and what happens to the fraternity members who were responsible for this type of barbaric event.
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