Is Drinking a Problem at UMass?

After listening to Sally Linoswk, the assistant director of Health Services here at UMass, I begin to question the reason why students drink so heavily.  As she presented many statistics found through multiple surveys taken over the years, it is evident that the students at UMass Amherst like to party. Although the partying has decreased significantly in the last six years, statistics prove that there has been a drastic increase in the event of “pregaming.”  Pregaming is when people drink in order to get drunk before going out.  Because this event has increased in the past years it proves that students drink solely to get drunk.  Before going to a desired destination for the night such as a sporting event, concert, or even a party students in their dorms/houses drink excessively.  I understand that drinking is culturally a social event but I do not see how it is considered “social” when the actual act of drinking is not even happening at the social event.

As I learn this information I begin to question the reason why students want to get entirely inebriated before arriving at an event. If students are getting drunk before going out I would imagine that they would not remember anything from the event they attended. Do they want to forget a concert they may have paid a lot of money  for? Maybe they do remember but I still do not see the point. I believe that our culture, especially college culture, has instilled in us this idea that they only way we can have fun is when alcohol or some other substance is involved.

I think people have forgotten how to have fun without the help from drinking.  They rely entirely on the substance’s effect and therefore can not remember what it was like to do particular things without it.

Sally Linowski feels it is necessary that every student participate in the BASICS program at UMass.  BASICS is a course a student must take after they have violated the University’s alcohol policy.  Although it is required for students to attend in order to clear their record, Linoswki believes that BASICS should not be presented to students as a punishment.  Because she sees the benefits of what the program can do to the improvements in a student’s drinking habits, Linowski wishes that everyone could participate in the course.  I think that if it were possible for this to happen students, after taking the course, may realize the negative effects of alcohol and remember how to have fun without it.


About LSinclair

I am a Junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Journalism and Anthropology. I am interested in photojournalism. I hope to some day travel the world and write for National Geographic
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