Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The College Effect

Week#1 article #1
Jenna Johnson (August 30, 2013)Schools Trying New Strategies to Battle College Drinking. Washington Post

Category: College students effected by  drinking and alcohol issues 

Level: National

Article Concerns: College drinking and what schools are attempting to do to make a safe environment.


            This clearly impacts most college students and their families. It is an on-going issue that needs to be recognized and assisted.

Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post wrote this article named "Schools try new strategies to battle college drinking". First, she brings up multiple examples of party situations that are taken too far. She starts out by setting the scene in a local bar at the University of Virginia. It was the day of graduation for the many Virginia students. They were celebrating their accomplishments into their final hours of being a U Va. Student. Jenna explained how everyone seemed to be taking the party to the extreme. Everything was going wild. People started to black out and get way out of control. She also brings into the picture another party at Boston College. It is pretty much the same story. Bring drinking and drugs seemed too rampant. Next she talks about Frostburg State University and their recent efforts to change what the President of the university (Gibraltar) calls, "the drinking culture". He mentions the title "college effect" in relation to the drinking associated with college kids. At Frostburg State they have put fourth many efforts to change the ways of student life. They have created non drinking activities for students and even started full slate Friday classes to persuade students to stay in more on Thursdays nights. All students at Frostburg are required to take and pass and online class of alcohol awareness. The school even deals with the underage side of drinking. They say that if caught underage drinking, they make you take alcohol education courses as well as having a letter sent to you parents with notification that you have broken the law and will receive consequences for it.

            As I read this Washington Post article, it has brought a number of thoughts to my attention. College and drinking seem to go together all too well these days. And come to think of it, I am not sure I have ever been to a party during my college days when there wasn't alcohol involved in some fashion. Coming from a small town with one high school my point of view on these types of matters has dramatically changed over the past 5 years. This article brought up some of the biggest issues about the dangers of partying and the commonality it seems to have with college students.
Being in college and reading this article, I do recognize a lot of the issues that have been brought up. The many questions of why students have taken to alcohol, drugs, and partying so much are still to be answered. It is not fun to see all the bad things that can occur from over usage of these substances. Illness and even deaths occur every day and a large number of those are affiliated with college students. These kids have not even been in the "real world" yet. They are on average 18-23 years old.

This article really hit home for me because I have known a few too many kids that lives have been taken due to the improper use of alcohol. At this age, I know how easy it is to just over look what happens and feel like you're invincible, but reality is we are not.

            I like to hear about the steps that schools and administrations are taking to help with the problems most college age students are dealing with. I hope to see an effect from these changes for the better. It is hard to change the ways of young people that think they have control of everything, but it is good to see that these issues are at least being noticed and someone is trying to do something about it.



  1. Its sad to hear that this is what really happens to many college students. Most of the time partying hard results into facing the consequences. I agree with what you said on how easy it can be to over look what happens and feeling invincible when you really aren't.
    Schools should really create a way to help students cope with or help students out on dealing with issues such as binge drinking or overall alcohol awareness.
    I liked this article!

  2. In some ways I agree completely with what both of you are saying. It is very sad to know that binge drinking and college parties have grown to be associated with so much violence and irresponsibility. With that said, I also think this article has a lot of grey areas that are being discussed. Johnson refers to the University of Virginia as being recognized as a "party school" and the upper class men feel the need to keep that reputation. With this said, I think any school can be as much of a party school or non party school as you personally make it. A good example that Johnson used to back my point was stating that one girl at the party did not drink, ever, due to alcohol abuse in her family. All though there is peer pressure and alcohol abuse all around every college campus it is individually your decision to par-take or not in these festivities. I feel like it would be extremely hard to regulate binge drinking to anyone, especially on a college campus where it is all around. In the 80's when they changed the drinking age to 21 and several campus pubs shut down as well as the campuses banning drinking in dorms and on campus housing, this only increased off campus drinking which in return can increase drunk driving accidents. As we discussed in class on Friday, I think it is very hard to put regulations on adults in college. Whether you're 18 or 21 you are going to do what you want to do and in return you might have to pay for the consequences. I also have known several people involved in drunk driving accidents and am not condoning binge drinking by any means. It is sad to know how often we hear stories about drunk driving or accidents involved with alcohol or drugs whether they are friends or strangers. I just believe we need to be careful about what we try to regulate because the second we start putting more and more regulations on college campus is when more and more people are going to rebel and more accidents will happen.