Most importantly, if this policy is successful it will create a healthier lifestyle for the person who once drank. Based on my research, I do not think there will ever be a complete elimination to underage drinking, but I do believe there are great measures that can be taken in order to reduce the consumption rate of alcohol. In my opinion, if universities implement a dry campus policy, it will consist of many trial and errors at first. With dedication, knowledge and resources from professionals there is great potential to make this policy effective. In order to make this most effective, I think being aware and educated of the concerning problem among college students is the first step to making a safer and healthier campus for many to enjoy. Being aware and educated means going farther into knowledge then superficial facts.
It means communicating with professionals in order to gain a better understanding of what it truly means to help students who struggle with problematic drinking. Its understanding the psychological take students’ experiences when they experiment with drinking along with finding ways to create a fun and sober college experience for all to experience. I feel that being properly educated and aware of the culture of drinking is the first and most important step into reducing the alcohol consumption rate among college students. The rise of awareness of the dangers of college students who drink should be addressed to local, state and federal educational administrations due to the high risks associated with the consumption of alcohol.
Many can agree that one of the main purposes of attending college is to fulfil academic achievement in one’s choice of study. Another purpose is to allow students the opportunity to network and providing them with a social aspect. With the drinking culture becoming such a substantial part of many student’s life it is taking away from their academic success. Making local, state and federal educational administration aware of this concerning situation will provide greater resources to help get this social problem under control.
As noted, alcohol consumption on college campuses is a concern among many United States universities. The amount of college students who consume alcohol on a daily basis is alarming to university administration. Drinking alcohol is a custom that many college students adapt to in their first years of attending an academic institution. When students are introduced to the drinking culture, it becomes a tradition with their friends. Many students get together and pre-game by tailgating before the football game while other students participate in social events such as Greek life parties, or both.
There are multiple activities that college students partake in in which the drinking of alcohol is portrayed as part of a normalized culture. Many universities are taking great efforts into implementing a dry campus policy which puts a ban on being in possession of alcohol to help reduce the consumption rate among college students. A student’s environment can play a substantial role when understanding why students consume alcohol in the first place. When universities have Greek life organizations, prominent athletic teams, and campus housing the likelihood of alcohol consumption is higher.
Being aware of what triggers college drinking habits may help when implementing alcohol policies on campus. College students are more prone to binge drink as a result of their environment which places them at greater risk for putting themselves and the community at harm. When people are under the influence of alcohol, they cannot think logically which impairs their judgment and ability to make rational decisions. When students engage in drinking activities and there are not able to make a coherent decision, it makes them more likely to have unsafe sex, encounter health problems such is blacking out, partake in legal involvement, become dependent on alcohol along with many other negative consequences. By having a wet college campus, which means alcohol is allowed on school grounds, it becomes a liability issue for the university and those involved.
The idea of a dry campus seemed to be a clever way to reduce drinking alcohol on college campuses, but based on research, studies show that universities that implemented a dry campus policy were not as successful as the idea suggests it ought to be. The main idea of a dry campus policy is to put rules and regulations in place to help reduce the amount of college alcohol drinking on school grounds and to provide consequences for those who break campus policies. Many studies show that a dry campus policy is a short-term fix for a lifelong problem. Further, this policy has a limited effect on the reduction of alcohol consumption on college campuses. In order for this policy to be affective, universities have to provide attention and services to students the struggle with problematic drinking.
With the consumption of alcohol being such a normalized culture among college students, being aware and educated about the effects of alcohol may help with reducing the drinking rate among the future generations. It is a certainty that the consumption of alcohol has changed the lives of many people. After reviewing research, I feel if universities are concerned about the amount of alcohol their students consume there needs to be more of a concrete alcohol policy implemented. I think campus policies related to alcohol need to be clear in what is expected of students along with an understanding of the consequences.
From my own experiences of being in college and living on campus, I feel that if policies are violated, administration needs to be consistent in the way they respond to these violations and the punishment they mete out. Letting some students get away with having alcohol on campus, but punishing others is not sending a clear message to students. I do believe that college students who drink can put themselves in risky situations that sometimes might be hard to recover from, but I believe that there is a valuable lesson many can take from it. When I was a freshman in college, I was charged with a Minor in Possession of alcohol, and it cost me a lot more than money – it cost me my time.
Although, I am not minimizing the negative experience I went through, I look back at the situation today and realize that I learned a lot about myself and I matured in ways that it might take others a longer time to do. Stepping up to the plate and having to juggle school, work, court, and the emotional strain was tough at times, but it was a great lesson to learn. I feel if universities are serious about reducing the alcohol rate among college students, providing resources and having sufficient funds is vital to lowering the consumption of alcohol among students. For some, it just takes one time of experimenting with alcohol to change their life. If universities provided early prevention programs or programs for students to maintain a sober lifestyle, I feel that this could also help the reduction of alcohol on college campuses.
Although, I do not believe that there will ever be an elimination of the consumption of alcohol on college campuses, I feel that if there are resources in place it could help offer alternatives to students. Generally speaking, being more aware and educating yourself and others can be helpful when attempting to reduce the alcohol rate among college students and people in general. I feel that people are only familiar with superficial effects related to alcohol consumption and look past the detrimental consequences many people face on a daily basis. In my future, I would like to work with troubled adolescents who end up in the criminal justice system along with people struggling with substance abuse. This research study as a whole can help me in my future by providing me extended knowledge on the risk factors of alcohol that I can pass on to the many people I will encounter whether if it is in the criminal justice system or my neighbor next door.
Before I started researching dry campus policies, I thought that having this type of policy would have been more popular among universities and more effective in reducing the alcohol rate amongst college students. By having strict policies and consequences associated with an alcohol on ban, I thought would deter students from consuming alcohol knowing what they could face is they were in possession of alcohol. I realize that it can be challenging to monitor a large population of college students, but if it is a priority to universities to reduce alcohol consumption, I feel that implementing a policy could be successful if done right.
The biggest thing policy makers, the public along with the media should take away from college drinking is the short and long-term negative effects of the consumption of alcohol. I know this goes without saying, but I feel that there is not a big enough emphasis on the consequences of drinking – whether if it is mentally, physically or legally. Many college students get so caught up in the drinking scene that it becomes a scary reality for some. This may sometimes lead to alcohol dependency which can be a lifelong battle. By being more aware and educated on this topic as a whole, I feel that this could help reduce the negative consequences associated with alcohol.
- CDC: Underage Drinking
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Underage Drinking
- NIAAA: Underage Drinking
- Prevention Action Alliance: Underage Drinking
- Alcohol Alert: Underage Drinking Research
- Alcohol Research: Alcohol-Related Problems Experienced by University Students in a Randomized Trial of a Brief Online Intervention