[CR] Week in Review

As the end of the school year approaches, parents and school administrators will be on the lookout for increases in dangerous drinking on college campuses and at high schools across the country. Unfortunately, prom and graduation season is off to a grim start: we received two more reports of alcohol-related deaths this week. 21st birthday binge drinking is often a dangerous affair, and the ritual cost a Kansas City resident his life recently. Alberto Betancourt was celebrating his birthday with friends and tried to consume 21 drinks. He was taken to the hospital and later died with a BAC of .459. In a similar story, Colorado State University sophomore Jon Hunter Hauck passed away after consuming a large amount of alcohol in his off-campus apartment over the weekend. For more on the latest news, check out these headlines.

Stories this week:

Do you need more evidence that the Vermont Senate’s passage of SR 17 is important? The state’s new 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey results show that binge drinking has increased sharply among Montpelier high school seniors: 60% of them said they engaged in binge drinking at least once in the 30 days prior to taking the survey.

Russell Frank, a professor of Journalism at Penn State, addressed the issue of toxic drinking in State College in a weekend op-ed for StateCollege.com. For the final assignment in his feature-writing class this semester, he told his students to explore the culture of binge drinking at Penn State. He got a list of disturbing but familiar stories: one student told the story of a girl who resumed drinking to a round of cheers after vomiting in an unfamiliar bathroom. Two other students wrote about being struck in the head with flying, unopened cans of beer at parties. Frank doesn’t think the community is doing enough to address these problems, but he isn’t sure what else to do: “I suggest we wear helmets,” he wrote.

James Hart of the Kansas City Star’s “Crime Scene KC” blog recently asked his readers, “Should parents let teens drink alcohol at home?” Legal Age 21 poses a difficult dilemma for many parents, since the vast majority of 18-20 year-olds consume alcohol. Visit Hart’s blog to tell him your story.

In other news…

Inside Higher Ed reported on a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that showed that college students who binge drink are no likelier to have sex than their peers who do not binge drink, but are more likely to have sex with multiple partners.

The editors of the Hartford Courant offered some sharp criticism of the University of Connecticut’s annual Spring Weekend, which they say has devolved into “an ugly three-night marathon of binge-drinking [and] couch-burning debauchery.” They admonished the students to act responsibly: “students are the only ones who can stop this pointless destruction of property and, now, life — by refusing to participate. If visiting thugs, flying glass and couch bonfires don’t disgust them, the ignominy of possibly showing up on YouTube tossing lunch or passed out should.”

Did we miss something in this week’s roundup? Leave a link in the comments.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with education and licensing. It doesn’t matter if young women and young men who binge drink have sex with more people. If the University of Connecticut’s Springe Weekend is about binge drinking and destruction, then that festival shouldn’t be celebrated until responsibility comes. The answer to James Hart’s question is an obvious yes. The ageist drinking also affects young women and young men who are 21 because of drinking 21 drinks so its repeal must come.