[CR] Week in Review

The “vodka eyeballing” trend we made note of this week continues to grab headlines, and it caught the attention of several prominent conservative bloggers who used the story to comment on the legal drinking age. Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online called Legal Age 21 a “deeply flawed” law, “creating all sorts of perverse unintended consequences,” while Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit called the drinking age “absurdly high.” For more of this week’s commentary and news on the drinking age debate, check out these headlines.

Stories this week:

On Thursday, the popular New York Times “Room for Debate” roundtable turned to the issue of traffic safety. The editors asked a panel of nine transportation writers, educators, and government experts, “Do we tolerate too many traffic deaths?” Read the contributions to find out what the panel thinks about drunk driving and a host of other traffic safety concerns.

A week ago, we flagged a story on two Miami University sororities that had been suspended by the school for out of control drunken behavior at their spring formals. This week, a sorority at Ohio University is facing similar charges after members caused nearly $50,000 worth of damage at the Parkersburg Art Center in West Virginia. Check out “Campus Overload” at the Washington Post for a recap of all of these incidents from the past month. Cincinnati Enquirer contributor Timothy Burke noted that stories like these tarnish the reputation of the entire Greek system.

Speaking of Ohio colleges, Dayton Daily News writer Jim DeBrosse examined the rising rates of binge drinking among college-age women and wondered if sweet-tasting alcohol is to blame for this trend. One Miami University junior told him, “There just seems to be this culture that if you drink you have to make it worth your while,” and that for underage drinkers, “you have to drink as much as you can and you have to do it before you get caught.”

In other news…

Elisabeth Best of Miller-McCune examined some new research on the drinking behaviors of American students who study abroad to find out if these students go abroad for the express purpose of consuming alcohol. The research didn’t support that hypothesis, but it did find that heavy drinkers were more likely to study abroad than their non-drinking peers: “people who are [already] drinkers would likely choose study abroad programs in places they could continue to drink.”

Penn State University has released the results of a new annual assessment of student drinking, and the results are mixed: high-risk drinking among male students has decreased recently, while high-risk drinking among female students has risen sharply: “In 2010, 52 percent of female students reported participating in high-risk drinking, compared with 48 percent in 2009 and 46.4 percent in 2008. The percentage of male students that engaged in high-risk drinking was 54 percent in 2010, compared to 60 percent in 2009 and 59 percent in 2008.” Overall, approximately one in four students was classified as a frequent high-risk drinker.

Leave your reactions to these stories in the comments and have a great Memorial Day weekend.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with important components. It’s good that two sororities from the University of Miami have been suspended for damaging the Parkersburg Art Center and I will comment on the Washington Post’s Campus Overload. It’s unfortunate that the University of Miami Junior is correct in that those comments contribute to a culture which abuses alcohol. Those who study abroad should practice responsible alcohol consumption. It’s good that things are getting better at Penn State.