So we’re all well aware that EMU has a vast variety of student types, and we’re aware that EMU doesn’t support the use of alcohol or tobacco. But since we’re a university that attracts a wide array of people, I think it’s important to cover our bases and make sure we’re all up to date with our alcohol info. We attract a Mennonite crowd, an athletic crowd, the local community crowd, a non-Mennonite Christian crowd, and even people who came because they want to stay in state. With a wide variety of students, there is a wide variety of perspectives on alcohol use. There are plenty of people here who say “no, absolutely not, won’t touch it,” there are also those that say politely, “no thank you, I don’t drink,” there are also your casual drinkers with dinner (off-campus of course!,) social drinkers with parties, and then those who drink heavily, sometimes daily. No matter what kind of “relationship” you have with alcohol, as college students we have all most likely encountered it at one point or another. So it is relevant. Even if you don’t drink, my guess is that you probably have at least one friend that does.
I’m going to make a serious attempt to make this NOTHING like a middle/high school health class.
SO, first of all, a “Did You Know…” fact sheet:
-Over 2/3 of all U.S. college students choose NOT to use or abuse alcohol if given the opportunity.
-On a typical weekend night 1 in 10 drivers on the American road is drunk.
-It doesn’t matter how much or how little we drink. The question is: What is our drinking doing to us? How is it affecting our lives?
-Binge drinking is considered four drinks for women and five for men.
-Binge Drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning!
-Unlike most foods, alcohol can be absorbed into the bloodstream in its natural states. It is carried to the brain immediately where it first impairs judgment, then physical responses.
-The ability to do two things at once-such as braking and steering-is impaired at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of only .02%!
Woah…So these statistics are alarming, and worrisome. It kind of makes you second guess yourself for a late night IHOP run (which none of us do, right?)
So for the science-y part of the case on alcohol, it’s a central nervous system depressant. It travels from the bloodstream straight to the brain.It blocks messages that go to your brain and alter perceptions, emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination. In the long-run, heavy drinking can cause cancer of the liver and cirrhosis.
When I was in high school we had an afternoon called “Prom Promise.” It was a form we signed that promised to not drink on prom night, and if we did, then we would do it “safely” and avoid driving home. This was an incredibly emotional event for my high school for a number of reasons. They brought a truck to our parking lot that belonged to one of my friends’ boyfriends before she was killed in a driving accident. Her and her boyfriend had been drinking and were driving in his truck when he ran a stop sign and were T-boned by a driver on the passenger side. My friend was in the passenger seat, not wearing her seat belt, and she was thrown from the car, killed immediately. Her boyfriend lived.
Prom Promise was in May and the accident was in March. Her mother spoke (and cried) to a blank faced crowd begging us to not make the same mistake that her baby did.
Drinking is serious business. It’s something people do for fun and to have a good time, but if you are going to use it in such ways you need to understand how dangerous and life-changing it can be. To write this article I reread numerous articles about friends I had that were killed in car accidents. As a high school student, we had one person die every single year in automobile accidents, and every year since. Alcohol was involved in most of those deaths whether they were my classmates drinking or those who hit them.
After college starts we begin to think we’re invincible because we’re out of our parent’s homes and a lot of us are turning 21 so everything is fair game…That is NOT true. We are now more responsible then ever before to make sure that we are not putting ourselves or others in harms way. Please be respectful of the lives around you and please don’t drive if you’re going to drink.