"Underage drinking and excessive drinking have negative effects on everything we’re trying to do as a university. They compromise the educational environment, the safety of our students, the quality of life on campus, town/gown relationships, and our reputation."
—Dr. Judith Ramaley, Former President, University of Vermont
Other than the damage and injuries that occur during spring break each year,
the only consequences of college drinking that usually come to the public's
attention are occasional student deaths from alcohol overuse (e.g., alcohol
poisoning) or other alcohol-related tragedies. They prompt a brief flurry of
media attention; then, the topic disappears until the next incident. In fact,
the consequences of college drinking are much more than occasional; at least
1,400 college student deaths a year are linked to alcohol, as new research described
in this report reveals. High-risk drinking also results in serious injuries,
assaults, and other health and academic problems, and is a major factor in damage
to institutional property. The relative scarcity of headlines about college
drinking belies an important fact: the consequences of excessive college drinking
are more widespread and destructive than most people realize. While only isolated
incidents tend to make news, many school presidents conclude that these pervasive,
albeit less obvious, problems are occurring on their campuses at the same time.
It is a persistent and costly problem that affects virtually all residential
colleges, college communities, and college students, whether they drink or not.
The call to action on campus has to do not so much with drinking per se, but with the consequences of excessive drinking by college students. Students who drink excessively have higher rates of injuries, assaults, academic problems, arrests, vandalism, and other health and social problems, compared with their nondrinking counterparts. They disrupt the studies and threaten the health and safety of their peers.
College Drinking Is a Culture
The Answer: Change the Culture. The Question:
A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking
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Last reviewed: 9/23/2005