College Drinking! It must be stopped!

In recent weeks, much has been made of Georgetown University’s alcohol-related policies. First, there was praise and criticism for AlcoholEdu, the new online education program that all freshmen are required to take. Now, both the Voice and the paper next door have run editorials condemning the patently foolish idea of banning kegs on campus, as proposed by the Disciplinary Review Committee. This is indicative of a major part of the problem with Georgetown’s alcohol policies: they change every year.

Binge drinking is not an epidemic at American universities, and it’s not at GU either. Just look at the work of Prof. Aaron M. White, at Duke University – who also happens to have worked on AlcoholEdu’s programs. The majority of students don’t drink heavily or don’t drink at all.

That may be a simplification of his findings, but White makes a very interesting point: that students’ drinking habits are heavily influenced by what they see as “normal.” Yes, Hollywood films, the news media and peer pressure distort perceptions of social norms. But the university’s constant fretting over drinking certainly doesn’t help either.

Posted by Austin Richardson, Senior Writer

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