Take one look at college culture and alcohol seems almost as ubiquitous as classes or homework. Social life is a major consideration for many students when they are comparing colleges – in one study, 40% of students said that the social reputation of the college was very important in their final decision about schools.
While the rate of binge drinking among college students has actually been slowly declining over the past several decades, you wouldn’t know it from what you hear about these schools in the news.
Where riots on colleges used to be smaller and centered on protesting social issues, now they have grown to sprawling masses of thousands that take to the street because their team lost the game or because they didn’t want to break up the party. These rioters, usually intoxicated, overturn cars and cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage.
While the exact definition of rape on college campuses has been criticized by some as a little too broad, there’s no denying that rape is a problem on college campuses. Clear patterns have been observed in college students who are victims of sexual assault. Sexual assaults occur most commonly to students in their first two years of college and in the fall, when school begins. The most common days of the week for this to happen are Friday and Saturday, and the most common time is after midnight. Alcohol is a factor in nearly every sexual assault claim.
According to one study, men in fraternities were three times more likely to commit rape than non-fraternity men. Greek organization members are no strangers to alcohol, with over 75% of fraternity members engaging in heavy drinking. This culture of pushing boundaries has led to some terrible tragedies. Since 1970, there has been at least one hazing-related death in the United States each year. And a scary trend has emerged where fraternity men, highly intoxicated and lacking supervision, fall off of roofs and balconies, out of windows, or down staircases. Many of the falls span several stories, and at least a dozen have resulted in death.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 41.7% of college students binge drink versus 37.1% of nonstudents of the same age. An update to the definition of alcoholism means that nearly 40% of college students could be considered alcoholics under the new definition, meaning that we might have a new B.A. in our nation’s colleges: Bachelor of Alcoholism.
The set of graphics below detail the three problem areas described above: riot culture, hookup culture, and fraternity culture on American college campuses.
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