In Henry Wechsler’s, “Getting Serious about Eradicating Binge Drinking”, he discusses the issue of binge drinking. Binge drinking is an extensive problem on college campuses. The majority of colleges merely focus on the student, rather than what encourages students to drink. Fraternities, sororities, and athletics are huge sources of the students on campus who drink. There are many approaches colleges can take to decrease the problem, and many colleges are already getting a head start. It is also important to not ignore how often colleges indirectly encourage students to drink (20).
First of all, binge drinking has been a problem for some time now. It has climbed over the past few years, capturing more attention from the media. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found an increase of intoxication, drinking solely just to get drunk, and also in alcohol-related problems. Among these problems are injuries, drunk driving, violence, and difficulty in academics. For example, of the students that drink, more than half of them said that their motivation was “to get drunk. Even though many students have suffered alcohol-related deaths, the amount of binge drinking is still on the rise (20). With that said, binge drinking has been so ingrained at colleges for so long that it is extremely hard to completely wipe-out the problem in a short amount of time. Colleges have been having closed-minds when it comes to focusing on the alcohol problem, focusing only on the students instead of giving the same attention to the factors that contribute to these drinking behaviors. Focusing directly on the student overlooks the environment and other factors that support their behavior.Order now
Students who binge-drink think they are not doing anything wrong because “everyone else is doing it. ” Informing students about how many other students binge can help reduce their behavior. It is hard to change a norm that is followed by many students, but focusing on the disruptive behavior of binge drinkers can help. Colleges would be wise to create a code of conduct in which drunken behavior on campuses will be penalized. Moreover, students need to take more responsibility for their actions; if they got themselves into this mess, they need to get themselves out of it.
Colleges should consider making a “three strike” policy in which students will be removed from school permanently after three alcohol violations (20-21). Fraternities and sororities are at the center of binge drinking on college campuses. It is proven that in fraternity houses, approximately 80% of students binge, and over 50% binge frequently. Fraternities attract people beyond their members, including high-school seniors, which are future college freshmen that are already being introduced to binge drinking as being a social norm.
The majority of alcohol-related deaths of college students involve fraternity parties. College administrators are afraid of acting out against fraternities because they do not want to anger the generous alumni donors who themselves, too, were partying during their college years. Colleges should not wait until a tragic event happens to realize that something must be done about fraternities and the alcohol-related problems that they cause. Also, it is morally wrong to treat alumni better than students, giving them the privilege to drink at events such as homecoming activities and sports.
Banning alcohol for just students is not an effective way to gain students’ support for any new alcohol-control policies. It is quite obvious that colleges base their decisions on money, worrying about whether or not alumni will continue to give donations, when colleges should be more worried about the safety of their students. Additionally, athletic programs are another center of binge drinking. Involvement with athletics actually increases a students’ likelihood for binge drinking.
Not many coaches are involved in an alcohol prevention program, which does not set a very good example for students. Colleges should make it mandatory for coaches to enroll in programs that can reduce alcohol abuse. This will show students that alcohol can affect every aspect of their lives. It is also important to send this message to high-school students, since most binge drinkers start in high school. Sending college students to talk to high-school students about alcohol can potentially reduce the amount of incoming college freshmen who abuse alcohol.
High-school students have a better chance of believing the messages of college students, since they think that whatever a college student has to say must be true, considering that they are soon-to-be college freshmen. Instead of colleges just focusing on strictly their own campus, it is important to focus on the environment that surrounds college campuses. These areas might have bars or liquor stores that college students might abuse alcohol at. The real problem is how easy it is for students to get large quantities of alcohol for a low price, and this keeps them buying, which keeps them abusing (21-22).
Colleges have already started to take action to help prevent alcohol abuse. Many are trying to eliminate the connection between sports and alcohol by banning alcohol at college stadiums. Additionally, colleges are trying to give students more options for entertainment that do not involve alcohol while others are making stricter rules/punishments for students who break the rules. It is extremely important for colleges to not ignore just how much colleges influence and enable binge drinking.
Things such as banning alcohol in the dorms but allowing it to be carried in unmarked cups is very contradicting and sends students the wrong message (22-24). Binge drinking is a huge problem. It has increased over the years. There are many things that colleges should do to help stop alcohol abuse on campus. There is much that needs to be done, and colleges are slowly, but surely following through in the battle to stop binge drinking (24). Works Cited Wechsler, Henry. “Getting Serious about Eradicating Binge Drinking. ” A Brief Guide to Writing from Readings, Fifth Edition. 20-24.