A University Alcohol Task Force program will fill the needs
of the university and also benefit MU in both direct and indirect ways.
Specifically, there will be benefits in three areas:
Healthier Student Habits
Students in an over-intoxicated state can be a severe danger
to themselves. Students can be hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, liver
damage, or other personal injuries. Our surveys showed that 5% of students who
drink have been treated for alcohol poisoning, 28% have had periods of
alcohol-induced blackout possibly causing permanent liver damage, and 86% have
woken up with inexplicable injuries including cuts, bruises, and/or broken
Drunken students can also be a danger to those around them.
Last academic year, Sheriff Pangborn reported 16 deaths due to drunk driving
and 21 counts of alcohol-related sexual violence on campus. By lowering the
number of intoxicated students on campus, we can lower the risk of incidents
and create an overall safer environment.
Midwest University is an academic institution and does not
need the label “party school.” By lowering the drinking rate, MU could attract
new students who are more focused on learning and less on partying, gain new
forms of funding such as donors, and elevate the prestige associated with its
name. One mother whose college-aged child died in an alcohol-related incident
said “[I]f someone had told me that every year or so someone dies on campus, I
would have had to think twice before I sent my [child] there.” Parents would be
more willing to send their children to MU, more students will want to apply,
and the university will become more competitive.
In addition, schools that are
more serious about academics are less likely to attract media attention such as
“Girls Gone Wild.”
Healthier Student Habits
Students that develop healthy habits in college graduate as
more productive members of society. By discouraging binge drinking now,
students will be better prepared for life after college. The US Bureau of
Statistics shows a strong correlation between heavy alcohol consumption during
college and steady continued consumption after graduation. The USBS has also
published findings showing that 78% of domestic violence is related to intoxication.
MU can help educate students socially as well as academically but discouraging
this behavior immediately while students are beginning to develop permanent
Midwest University has a policy prohibiting students under
the age of 21 from possessing or using alcohol. Violations of this policy are
punishable by multiple academic consequences. However, MU’s alcohol policy does
not address the issue of alcohol-related safety in both cases of legal or
illegal drinkers and it does not specify how its current policy will be
enforced. The University needs a clearly stated action plan defining who will
deal with alcohol enforcement and what procedures they are to follow. This plan
needs to focus on campus safety as well as upholding the current university
policies and the laws set forth by the state.