Consensus: Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Drinking is a part of life in college. Whether underage or in excess, the same amount of consumption will likely continue to occur year after year. The problem, however, is when rates of excessive consumption increase. For example, this year, the Office of Student Affairs reported an increase from 73 to 87 alcohol violations. For many, the first assumption is that this is an issue specialized to the Greek community. The problem, however, is much more widespread, affecting the entire campus.

Tech has attempted to curb the problem of binge drinking and substance abuse through education that aims to help students make better choices in a college environment. However, a significant portion of the fault is all on the students when they do not incorporate this education in their behavior.

While the Greek community is frequently targeted as the source of substance abuse, Greek organizations are no more at fault than other organizations. In fact, unlike most other organizations on campus, fraternities and sororities provide explicit, mandatory alcohol education to their members. The effort there has been made to curb abuse, and non-Greek organizations should take note and help incorporate similar education to unilaterally address this campus-wide problem.

Changing the campus culture in this way requires this support from the students of campus organizations, specifically the older members and executive boards. Real-world peer influence will be more effective than any run-of-the-mill prevention website can ever be.

However, the decision ultimately comes down to the individual students at Tech and how they make personal choices. Students are more than capable of making “smart” decisions and must do so to help curb the dangers associated with excessive alcohol and substance consumption.