With news of the number of students being taken to the hospital by EMeRG at a record high, GW officials must examine their treatment of alcohol and alcohol education on this campus.
Over the 2007-2008 academic year thus far, 218 students have be taken by EMeRG to the hospital – and the year is far from over. Compare that to 201 students for the 2006-2007 year and 168 the year prior. “(EMeRGs) have been increasing across campus … but quite frankly, we’ve had more truly scary behavior that is out in the open . there are more students staggering down the street in public, which is far more scary than a kid just sitting in his room,” said Tara Pereira, director of Student Judicial Services.
Since the implementation of GW’s relatively new policy of medical amnesty, which permits drinkers who are underage and ill to receive care without disciplinary ramifications, these numbers have been on the increase. However, as this page has stated before, the program provides a vital service for the health of the GW population.
To avoid compromising such a program, therefore, with doubts of adverse impacts on the drinking habits of GW students, the University should examine taking more aggressive steps to curb dangerous drinking. Whether making an alcohol education class mandatory for incoming freshmen or administering a course online for all students, the University must make its stance on drinking known early and clearly.
Of course the University does already have numerous sources of information and help available to the community, but the issue is using these tools effectively before trouble begins. Resources from the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education to house proctors should be called upon long before a meeting must be called in Thurston Hall to meet with concerned students and administrators.