Alcohol to complete the college life


File Photo/The LIon's Roar

University policy dictates that two or more commissioned officers are present at “alcohol events” on campus. According to Lt. Patrick Gipson, officers were requested for 21 events for the 2018 fall semester. Students’ reasons for deciding to drink may range from socialization to de-stressing.

Among the things that college may bring to mind, alcohol makes the list with 1.2 million full-time college students of a total nine million drinking alcohol on an average day in the past year, according to a report by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.

For Dontravia Mouton, a sophomore kinesiology major, alcohol and college go hand in hand.

“You have parties, kickbacks, games, and you’re gonna find a drink at all of those events, so I feel like college culture includes alcohol,” said Mouton. “We’re young adults. We’re finding our own. We want to be ‘grown,’ so we can drink. Since the beginning of college time, there’s been alcohol whether you sneak and do it, do it out in public, and especially being in Louisiana, we’re gonna be drinking.”

Hayden Johnson, a freshman computer science major, believes socialization contributes to alcohol consumption.

“When it comes to drinking, people usually do it as a social thing,” stated Johnson. “It’s just like they get together. They have a few drinks. They share stories.”

Indya Major, a senior criminal justice major, discussed the ways alcohol fits into college culture.

“Alcohol could be used as a way to socialize with friends at parties or after a long day of school,” shared Major. “It could be used for more toxic reasons such as coping with stress or depression. The main reason I feel alcohol is so common in college culture is because we are no longer under the constant supervision of our parents.”

Although the impact of alcohol on incidents may be uncertain, it does appear to be involved. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism listed that among students between the ages of 18 and 24, 696,000 were assaulted by another student who had been drinking, 97,000 reported alcohol-related sexual assault or rape, and 1,825 died from alcohol-related unintentional injuries such as motor vehicle crashes. A NIAAA survey found that about two out of five college students reported binge drinking at least once in the last two weeks.

“Many people get mixed up with the wrong group of friends and easily fall into peer pressure,” explained Major. “I feel like it’s also easy for us as college students to not realize how often or how much we drink because we are at an age where ‘living in the moment’ is a common feeling.”

Jacob Hopkins, a freshman social work major, found getting alcohol to be easier in college than anywhere else. The stress of college factors into his decision to drink.

“It helps us destress,” shared Hopkins. “College is really stressful. I like to go out with my boys and drink. It helps take the edge off.”

Depending on whether or not Mouton goes out with her roommates or friends, she may drink once every one or two weeks. She encouraged responsible drinking.

Mouton said, “If you know you’re going out, make sure you have a DD. Make sure you have at least two friends that are sober enough to watch over the group because you don’t want your friend leaving with someone they don’t know. You don’t want your friend acting a fool when they’re drunk.”

Despite varied drinking habits and alcohol’s presence in college, proper awareness can counter potential harmful consequences of alcohol consumption.

“If you know your limit and you don’t go past it, you’re good,” explained Hopkins. “If you know you’re a lightweight, don’t go out drinking a lot with your friends, but if you know you can handle your liquor, you can go out and drink as much as you want, and it should be fine as long as you don’t go past that point.”