Augustana handles irresponsible drinking responsibly

Taylor Roth

Drinking on college campuses is nothing new and not exclusive to Augustana, but the culture of drinking to “fit in” with the rest of the crowd does raise some cause for concern. 

Drinking is a part of college life, but if students are unable to drink responsibly, there is a chance of long-lasting medical setbacks. After seeing underage drinking firsthand and what drinking to excess can do, Augustana takes clear steps to help its students. 

One resource that Augustana has, if students feel unsafe to drive and need to get back to campus, is ACES, a student-run carpool service that runs from seven in the morning to 1:50 in the morning. 

Another resource that students can use is on-campus counseling sessions, where students can speak to someone about concerns they don’t feel comfortable saying to large groups of people. 

In an interview with Farrah Roberts, director of student well-being and resiliency, she brings up how not everyone in college drinks. 

“It’s not actually as common as everyone thinks it is. A lot of students choose not to drink and/or not to binge drink. We also share the realities of the negative effects of alcohol use on academics, social life and on personal safety,” Roberts said.

There are many activities around campus that do not involve the consumption of alcohol, including those highlighted in Augustana’s commemoration of April as Alcohol Awareness month. The most recent was a drag show in the Lindberg Center called Night of Noise. 

“The OSL puts on amazing student events every week that are 100% alcohol-free and that’s a great option,” Roberts said. 

Wanting to drink is completely normal for students, but when they drink excessively, it can become a health hazard. Drinking impacts people in different ways, so it is important to voice concerns about excessive drinking. 

Roberts also mentions what the drinking culture is like at Augustana. 

From an administrative perspective, things have shifted for the better over the last several years. We’ve seen less dangerous levels of alcohol use and less repeat offenders of alcohol violations. Of course, things can always be better and we welcome student feedback about what they’re seeing,” Roberts said. 

One of the things students can do to help those who are drinking irresponsibly is to check on how they are doing.

Roberts says a big thing to remember is the three Ds.

“Direct: Directly speak to the student. Distract: Trying to find a way to change the situation safely without directly confronting it in that moment. Delegate: Find help from someone in a place of authority or someone more equipped to handle the situation,” Roberts said.

The three D’s can be helpful to students if they don’t feel safe or comfortable calling someone out on their drinking. 

For example, distracting them can make the situation less intimidating. Going up to someone who isn’t acting like themselves can be difficult, so offering a distraction, such as asking them to get food or watch a movie, is a good way of avoiding these obstacles while addressing drinking concerns.

Since the start of my college career in 2020, there has been peer pressure to drink, an issue faced by many college students. 

Excessive and underage drinking is a problem but with some of the workshops, resources, and education Augustana provides, it has taken the necessary steps to prevent the dangers of irresponsible drinking.