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  #16  
Old 01-31-2018, 10:52 PM
panhelrose panhelrose is offline
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Speaking from a university standpoint, I was a student orientation leader for my school a few years ago, and part of the program involved teaching the incoming students about drinking, drugs, and what to do if someone needs help. We have protocols in place, for instance, where a student won't get in trouble for drinking underage if they're calling the university EMT service to help out their friend who's too drunk, so that students aren't more worried about their own punishment than the more dire consequences.

However, we did face some pushback from parents during one of the discussion sections we had about that information session, because the parents said the university shouldn't be encouraging students to drink underage. The way our Dean of Students put it, we know many incoming freshman will experiment with alcohol underage, so it's better to teach them how to be safe and how to protect each other from dangerous behavior, than to pretend it doesn't happen at all.

On the fraternity/sorority standpoint, I think acknowledging underage drinking, teaching safe drinking habits, and putting protocols in place to protect students trying to help their friends would definitely curb this issue, but I doubt we'll see many fraternities saying "well we know you're drinking underage, so here's what to do," etc, etc.
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2018, 07:21 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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In ancient times when I was an undergrad, the drinking age was 18. I don't seem to recall as many stomach pumping adventures and alcohol poisoning deaths as are presently reported. Freshmen could go to bars and drink, which took the importance off fraternity parties as the only way to drink. I think the laws should revert back to a drinking age of 18.
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  #18  
Old 02-01-2018, 09:13 AM
shadokat shadokat is offline
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When I went through pledging, in the days of old, we signed a contract stating we would not drink for the entirety of our new member program. Of course, back then we didn't have as much "free time" as pledging has these days.
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  #19  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:03 AM
clemsongirl clemsongirl is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
In ancient times when I was an undergrad, the drinking age was 18. I don't seem to recall as many stomach pumping adventures and alcohol poisoning deaths as are presently reported. Freshmen could go to bars and drink, which took the importance off fraternity parties as the only way to drink. I think the laws should revert back to a drinking age of 18.
I could not agree more. A huge part of the drinking culture in Greek life at Clemson (and probably other places too) was under-21 members pregaming and drinking tons before an event because they knew they couldn't drink alcohol once they got to the mixer, function, formal, what have you. While a culture shift so members don't feel like they have to drink to have fun would be wonderful, younger members being able to have one or two drinks once they got to an event would seriously cut down on binge drinking.

The drinking age in Vermont was still 18 when she was there and while I'm sure she got up to some shenanigans, I don't think the pressure to pregame was there the way it is now.
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2018, 12:18 PM
NYCMS NYCMS is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
In ancient times when I was an undergrad, the drinking age was 18. I don't seem to recall as many stomach pumping adventures and alcohol poisoning deaths as are presently reported. Freshmen could go to bars and drink, which took the importance off fraternity parties as the only way to drink. I think the laws should revert back to a drinking age of 18.
I hadn't thought of this but it makes complete sense.

And here's another factor: I work in behavioral health, including working with counselors at colleges, and one thing being noted in the field is that students today are binge-drinking as a way to cope with anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders.

You don't have to work in mental health to know that college students are under much more pressure than previous generations, amplified by the effects of social media ("everyone else has the perfect life" syndrome). This is also why we see something known as "drunkorexia" - students (not just women, but also men) avoid eating before parties/going out because of fear of weight gain, so they drink on an empty stomach and bingo - totally drunk. "Drunkorexia" is not an official DSM (diagnostic manual for mental health), but is a significant trend and issue. And this is amplified by the "skinny worship" trend as well.

College students have always used drugs and alcohol to numb themselves and cope, but not to the degree that college counselors and health centers see today. So yes, a factor of legal drinking age, but also to cope with stress and anxiety.
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2018, 05:55 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I don't think that's a thing. As it stands, you aren't supposed to let underage people drink, period.
Actually, yes, it is a thing. It's hazing.

If a sorority is allowing underage members to drink at sorority events like mixers and formals, they can't say underage pledges aren't allowed to just because they're pledges.

Remember that some of our organizations are international with chapters in Canada where the drinking age is 18-19.
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2018, 06:09 PM
GreekOne GreekOne is offline
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I have a daughter that is pledging right now. She told me that some of the rules given to the new members include no pre-gaming before socials and drink nothing but beer. This is representative of the direction sororities are taking to improve the situation. They can't control if a fraternity is serving vodka but they can control the expectation of their own members that they do not partake. The culture has to change somewhere and I think this is a positive start.
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2018, 06:21 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
Actually, yes, it is a thing. It's hazing.

If a sorority is allowing underage members to drink at sorority events like mixers and formals, they can't say underage pledges aren't allowed to just because they're pledges.

Remember that some of our organizations are international with chapters in Canada where the drinking age is 18-19.
That wouldn't be hazing as I understand it. The definition of hazing varies from group to group. I recall our Oklahoma State chapter had a write up about their new member program in our national magazine which detailed that among other things, candidates (non-initiates) were not allowed to partake of any alcohol during their new member process.
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2018, 07:13 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
In ancient times when I was an undergrad, the drinking age was 18. I don't seem to recall as many stomach pumping adventures and alcohol poisoning deaths as are presently reported. Freshmen could go to bars and drink, which took the importance off fraternity parties as the only way to drink. I think the laws should revert back to a drinking age of 18.
In olden days, back when 18 was the drinking age and before risk reduction rules, a fraternity would spend about $35 (plus deposit) and buy a keg of beer for informal parties -- that would pretty much be it as far as alcoholic beverages at informal events and mixers. Risk reduction policies do not allow this anymore.

I suspect that now it is cheaper and easier to just to have guests buy and bring their own hard liquor for informal gatherings disguised as non-fraternity events in a crude attempt to avoid IFC and university rules as well as liability.

It is extremely difficult to get alcohol poisoning by drinking beer alone. Not that difficult with hard liquor or 190 proof grain alcohol.

My point is that the increased alcohol poisonings can likely be tied to the increase in hard liquor use.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2018, 07:32 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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And everything is BYO now because for liability reasons, it is verboten to use fraternity money to purchase alcohol unless it is to procure the services of a cash bar with its own liability policy. And because we've stepped back from controlling the alcohol because we don't want to be liable, we've ceded all of those decisions to kids who would already be doing something illegal in most cases by drinking in the first place. We've also ceded that ground because as an adviser, I don't want to be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of minors when some members decide to throw a house party I don't know about.
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2018, 08:08 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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PhilTau, You didn't serve trash can punch? As a pledge I was warned to avoid that at all costs. It could be very strong-often made with Everclear, and then, you never knew what else might have been added in. I drank canned Cokes at socials to be safe.
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  #27  
Old 02-01-2018, 09:31 PM
ColdInCanada11 ColdInCanada11 is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post

Remember that some of our organizations are international with chapters in Canada where the drinking age is 18-19.
THANK YOU! A lot of orgs don't recognise this. When I was a new member, I was 20 and had to do Greek Life Edu- I was deemed an alcoholic with my one to two drinks a month because I was "underage".

Onto the point, people certainly do pregame/drink, but it doesn't seem to be taken to the same extremes up here. I'd be interested in a comparative study!
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2018, 09:38 PM
HQWest HQWest is offline
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Originally Posted by GreekOne View Post
I have a daughter that is pledging right now. She told me that some of the rules given to the new members include no pre-gaming before socials and drink nothing but beer. This is representative of the direction sororities are taking to improve the situation. They can't control if a fraternity is serving vodka but they can control the expectation of their own members that they do not partake. The culture has to change somewhere and I think this is a positive start.
That is ridiculous. They should not be saying that to young underage women. If they said that during chapter - they could be held liable if someone were to trip on the stairs or worse pass out and have some man they don't know take them home.

You can still get quite sick off beer and (especially for a small woman) - binge drinking is deadly.
Here is a chart
http://www.brad21.org/bac_charts.html
7 or 8 beers can kill you
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  #29  
Old 02-01-2018, 09:59 PM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
The issue is and always will be that young people are programmed to make bad decisions and overindulge.
Parents need to take more responsibility for inculcating wise values and standards to their children. Parents usually have 16-20 years to work earnestly at same before sending students away to university.
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  #30  
Old 02-01-2018, 10:44 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
PhilTau, You didn't serve trash can punch? As a pledge I was warned to avoid that at all costs. It could be very strong-often made with Everclear, and then, you never knew what else might have been added in. I drank canned Cokes at socials to be safe.
Oh man, Everclear. I had forgotten that.
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