Alcohol on campus has always been a problem. Since the beginning of higher education, students have rebelled against the rules and laws of the university and the state. Underage drinking has become a nationwide pandemic. With the legal drinking age now at twenty-one, at least half of the college population is underage, leaving room for more students to engage in binge drinking at fraternities, athletic events, and dorm rooms. The fact that half the students are underage makes them more rebellious and wanting to feel above the law, often ending in underage drinking. The articles that will be reviewed and discussed in this paper demonstrate the importance of substance-free residence halls and a survey taken to analyze the effects of alcohol on campus.
Substance-free residence halls are a common piece of the university puzzle. In particular, many of the campuses are considered a “dry campus,” meaning that alcohol is not to be housed or consumed on campus, even if the person is of legal age, twenty-one. Alternately, a “wet campus” means that students who are twenty-one and over can house and consume alcohol within their dormitories. However, most wet campuses do not allow the consumption of alcohol on the grounds, that is, anywhere outside the dormitory facilities. Wet campuses also allow vendors to sell alcohol at university-sponsored events.
Finn brings up several points regarding substance-free residence halls, including the safety of all parties involved, the price of vandalism, and the ultimate purpose for university (1-6).
A significant number of students who attend a university are susceptible to an increased risk of alcohol abuse because a family member is an alcoholic. This does not mean that simply because a student comes from an alcoholic family, that student will become an alcoholic, too, and vice versa. The Counseling and Psychological Services at the Pennsylvania State University found that twenty percent of its clients are adult children of alcoholics (Finn, 2). The purpose of substance-free residence halls is to promote the healthy habits of its’ students. The campus wants to send the massage to incoming students that the majority of the campus does not participate in binge drinking or drink at all. Many students who answered the survey responded that part of their binge drinking was due to “trying to fit in” and “because everyone else does,” (Weitzman, 31). Substance-free residence halls, where substances are not permitted, provide students a safe place to be who are easily influenced by peer pressure to drink and use other drugs (Finn, 2). Beth Wallace, Director of Health Services at Wofford College in South Carolina said, “By being able to set up an area that is more wellness conscious, we can show that our school supports a wellness norm. We hope the area will grow each year. It is one way in which we can change the whole environment of college to make alcohol a less significant focus of social activity.”