Alcohol places college
students in danger
for binge drinking discussed at luncheon
By Melissa E. Valdez
UH faculty and students should come together
with the Houston community to remedy college binge drinking, said alcohol
and drug abuse researcher Peter Nathan.
Nathan, a former faculty member of the
University of Iowa, talked about his study on binge drinking with members
of the UH community at the University Hilton on Tuesday.
Nathan said he believes finding a remedy
for binge drinking will improve the quality of college life.
"Fewer students will be raped ... fewer
students will drop out of school," he said.
Nathan compared his University of Iowa
study with a 1994 Wechsler study involving 140 U.S. college campuses.
Both studies concentrated on the number
of students binge drinking and on the impact of this behavior.
Students who engaged in binge drinking
activities are more likely to miss classes, drop out and fail school, Nathan
said, and both studies showed male students have a higher risk of becoming
Nathan said the impacts of binge drinking
could cost students their college careers.
"Our nation's privileged youths are in
danger," he said.
The Wechsler study determined three predictors
that make a college campus more susceptible to binge drinking.
The predictors state at-risk campuses as
colleges in the Northeast or North central regions, residential schools
where the majority of students live on campus, and colleges where alcohol
can be obtained within walking distance of the campus.
Although UH only meets the last criteria,
Nathan said he believes the campus could still be at risk and said preventive
measures should be put in place.
The UH Substance Abuse Committee meets
twice a semester to access and review prevention and education needs on
The Interfraternity Council also addresses
some preventive measures, said Bruce Twenhafel, a Campus Activities adviser.
"Every group subscribes to alcohol-free
recruitment," he said.
Twenhafel also said kegs, punch bowls or
other common sources of alcohol cannot be available at fraternity parties.
He said the national trend is toward alcohol-free Greek housing and third-party
vendors with alcohol permits supplying alcohol at parties.
Both studies show most students are able
to quit binge drinking after college, indicating that peer pressure could
be a primary cause.
Nathan said more needs to be done nationally
to stop the crisis of college binge drinking, including taking steps to
get students involved in self-control.