A Campus Dilemma: Mixing Alcohol with Education

You are here

A Campus Dilemma

Mixing Alcohol with Education

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


A recent near-riot at the Queen's University's 'Homecoming' in Kingston, Ontario, Canada raises the question, should education be routinely mixed with alcohol?

The Kingston Whig-Standard's front page headline (September 27, 2005) reads: "Next year use water cannons, mayor says. City, police vow changes in '06". This appeared the day after a partying crowd of 7,000 students hit the streets. Some burned a car; others pelted police and fire crews with bottles.

The evening for celebrating the 'Homecoming' at Queen's University began with small front-yard parties that grew into a huge, lawless mob smashing bottles and leaving pavements covered in broken glass. The violent crowds hindered paramedics trying to reach a half-conscious young woman in the middle of an intersection who was suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Two mounted police took 15 minutes to clear a way for paramedics to find her. The number of people requiring treatment for avoidable injuries and drunkenness also created a major backlog of untreated patients at hospital emergency rooms.

A follow-up headline three weeks later read: "Police bill Queen's $84,000." Police delivered this expensive bill to University officials after making 33 charges for 22 criminal offenses. Kingston plans a tougher response for 2006. Current plans call for Tasers, pepper spray, tear gas, a riot squad of 60 officers and a dozen more on horseback.

Alcoholic 'rites of passage' are widespread in North American culture. School partying is viewed as the acceptable 'growing up' experience for college-age students. According to one California college, "Students generally feel that experiences with alcohol are part of growing up, and hence should be part of the social education that Colleges offer."

But is this practice all that beneficial to the participating students? Look at some of the most obvious consequences! Stanford Magazine has reported that the average college student spends $900 a year on alcohol—compared with $450 on books!

A 1997 Harvard School of Public Health report found that almost 43 percent of American college students binge at least once every two weeks. These students are more likely to sexually assault or harass their classmates, destroy property or disturb the peace (Stanford Alumni News, 2000).

The Denver Post reports that in December of 2004 a Colorado State University Sigma Pi fraternity was disbanded after a popular CSU sophomore was found dead from alcohol poisoning in the fraternity house. She had consumed as many as 40 drinks at parties before she went to Sigma Pi.

Pomona College—in the Los Angeles suburb of Claremont, California—conducted an in-depth study in 2002 of its alcohol culture. The report disclosed that first-year students are more prone to alcohol problems because they are often inexperienced, away from home for the first time and with the added freedom of college. Being under-age they tend to 'front load': to drink heavily in a short period of time before a social event in order to remain drunk throughout its duration.

Because the majority of them drink on campus, students in dorms live in an environment where alcohol is prevalent. Their sleep and study habits are affected. Their involvement in property damage and vandalism also increases.

Driving under the influence, or riding in a vehicle with someone else driving under the influence is another significant problem. The report states, "'Last year at Pomona College there were nine official outside agency response incidents involving alcohol where a student was hospitalized" (Committee for Investigating the Alcohol Culture at Pomona College, December 2003).

A respected authority makes plain the problem: "Alcohol is the third-largest killer in the United States, ranking behind heart disease and cancer. If traffic fatalities and death certificate diagnoses related to alcoholic use were included in the statistics, alcoholism would be recognized as our nation's number one killer" (Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, page 326).

This quote and much more information is available in the informative booklet offered free of charge below. As explained in the section "Alcohol use and abuse," even though the Bible does not forbid all moderate uses of alcoholic beverages it does give very strong warnings against using them excessively.

Abuse of alcohol is a threat to more than just one's physical health. It is equally a threat to one's spiritual health. And it clearly has serious consequences for students who choose to mix frequent and excessive alcohol consumption with their education.

The Bible reveals many keys to having a long and healthy life, job success, financial security and happy families. We would like you to receive a clear picture of these blessings, along with useful information on making the most of your own and your children's educational opportunities. Be sure to request or download now your free copy of our booklet: Making Life Work. VT