Slice of Life: Got drunk? Who’s to blame?

Folks, I think we have a drinking problem. Admitting it is always the first step, right? So let’s talk about this.

We didn’t even make it through the first weekend of the semester before a series of crime alerts went out warning of drinking-related incidents on campus. One chronicled a possible punch-spiking at a frat party.

Hatchet Metro News Editor Alexa Millinger reported, “The alert also mentioned an incident earlier in the week, when a female student reported falling asleep in a townhouse while intoxicated and waking up in another room with her clothes in ‘disarray.'”

UPD is investigating both instances, and if there were druggings or rapes, my heart goes out to the young women involved.

However, these incidents give us a chance to think about drinking on campus and our own personal responsibility.

Let’s be honest – we all like to have a good time come the weekend. Sometimes we make bad decisions. And yes, sometimes alcohol influences those choices. It happens. Most of the time it’s all in good fun.

But sometimes those bad decisions lead to consequences a lot worse than making out with your best friend or sending an embarrassing text. Just ask the student in the alert who woke up with her clothes in “disarray.”

The poor woman may never know what happened.

But is the basic story line really all that surprising?

If you decide to go to a party, decide to drink yourself into oblivion and then wake up unsure of what (or who) you did last night, who’s really to blame?

The issue, in my opinion, is not the drinking aspect. As adults, we get to choose whether or not we want to drink and how much we want to drink. The problem is that when something goes wrong, it’s not always easy to be an adult and accept responsibility.

Part of it is that we glorify drinking to such an extent that the consequences become trivialized.

An Italian friend once asked me, “Why are American college students so obsessed with drinking and getting drunk?”

Frankly, I don’t know the answer to that. It could be our stringent drinking laws – the forbidden fruit is always appealing.

But it is a part of American college culture.

Despite all of the wild experiences I had studying in Berlin, I never once had a friend end up violently ill or in the hospital as a result of drinking. Meanwhile, I have several GW friends who have landed in the emergency room after a few too many drinks.

I’m always baffled when GW students wear being EMeRGed as a badge of pride.

Is drinking to the point of hospitalization really something to be proud of? I’d quite frankly be embarrassed if I had to be carted away from a party in an ambulance. But that’s just me.

I’m not telling anyone to stop drinking and join a Friday night Bible study instead.

But these recent crime alerts got me thinking that it may be time for us to re-examine our campus drinking culture. Instead of trivializing the consequences of drinking by passing off responsibility onto others, we’d be better off accepting that drinking is an adult activity that can sometimes have adult consequences.

When you head out for a night of binge drinking, that’s your decision, a decision that you as an adult can make. Just be sure you understand the responsibility you have for your actions.

And if you wake up in the morning with regrets, you’re the only one to blame.

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