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And you thought Williams had a drinking problem…

This American Life visits Penn State (MP3 download)

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#1 Comment By hwc On December 22, 2009 @ 10:22 am

I haven’t listened to the MP3 yet, but Penn State has consistently had the highest surveyed binge drinking rate of any school I’ve ever seen. Year after year.

#2 Comment By hwc On December 22, 2009 @ 10:25 am

The surveyed binge drinking rate has been so high at Penn, relative to the national average, that you wouldn’t even have to visit to know that it is an ugly campus environment.

#3 Comment By rory On December 22, 2009 @ 11:59 am

@hwc: Penn is not Penn State!

#4 Comment By Aidan On December 22, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

It isn’t? Actually, I thought Lehigh was the drinking capital of the Keystone State.

#5 Comment By frank uible On December 22, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

If Williams wants to solve its drinking “problem”, all it has to do is take whatever steps are needed to cause its students to strictly follow the MA liquor laws – in other words to shut down tight underage drinking. Of course such action would damage Williams at the Admission Office.

#6 Comment By hwc On December 22, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

Actually, Penn’s binge drinking rate has been high too, but I am referring to Penn State in both posts #1 and #2. I thought the topic here was Penn State. The radio show MP3 is about Penn State.

#7 Comment By Ronit On December 22, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

@frank uible: When the liquor laws are unreasonable, you are going to get unreasonable results.

#8 Comment By frank uible On December 22, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

Jesse James and his fans thought them laws against robbing banks were unreasonable – nonetheless….

#9 Comment By hwc On December 22, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

It’s hard to blame binge drinking and associated behaviors on the liquor laws.

#10 Comment By Ronit On December 22, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

If you legalize drinking for anyone 18 and over, the vast majoirty of college drinking will then be allowed to take place in the open, at bars, pubs, and college parties with trained hosts/bartenders/bouncers/etc. Moving an activity from the underground out into the open makes it easier to regulate and control.

There is no solution for underage binge drinking under the current American drinking laws.

#11 Comment By hwc On December 22, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

Unfortunately, raising the drinking age puts teenage drinking in the driver’s seat.

I don’t buy that the majority of college drinking would suddenly take place at controlled whine and cheese party functions.

#12 Comment By Jay On December 22, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

Unfortunately, raising the drinking age puts teenage drinking in the driver’s seat.

Lower the drinking age, and severely increase the penalties for drunk driving.

Problem solved.

#13 Comment By Ronit On December 22, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

I don’t really understand hwc’s last comment, but it is much easier to control driving than to control drinking. Especially in a place like Williamstown.

And we have 18 and 19 year olds who drink and drive now.

Also, I highly recommend listening to the show.

#14 Comment By Jr. Mom On December 22, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

FWIW, they could come here for the uncontrolled whine and cheese. ;-)

#15 Comment By Parent ’12 On December 22, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

Ronit- Great title for this thread. It captures at least one of my thoughts when I heard this segment broadcast over the weekend.

I, too, highly recommend listening. And, suggest going to their site at http://www.thisamericanlife.org and listen to other broadcasts. On the serious side there have been at least 2 on the financial meltdown last year. On the lighter side are interesting stories with a twist. Go to “our favorites” on the site. You’re bound to find something.

Highlights from Penn St and alcohol: how the community benefits and doesn’t; response to student death because of one night of binge drinking; and research on what seems to work to decrease drinking on campus.

One example of a twist in the story: A resident, who has a motion detector for his property, for the obvious reason, also acknowledged that throwing furniture out a window is fun.