Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Don’t Take Alcohol From Strangers

On Friday, Hoyas from across campus will observe one of Georgetown’s most celebrated and time-honored days of the year: Halloween. Traditions related to Halloween play a large role at Georgetown, as Halloween is one of the most exciting days of the year. It gives us the opportunity to dress up and party as a community to commemorate a favorite childhood holiday.

For many in the Georgetown community, however, Halloween is also a night of high-risk behavior, especially when it comes to drinking. That’s why we think this week is an excellent time to both discuss the role of alcohol on Georgetown’s campus and to participate in Halloween-related activities and programs. As a part of Alcohol Awareness Week, the FRIENDS Initiative invites you to attend a speech by Dr. Wilkie Wilson, participate in our open forum on the topic of alcohol use at Georgetown and take part in many of the exciting Halloweek events sponsored largely by the Georgetown Program Board.

Clearly, alcohol plays a significant role in the social scene here at Georgetown. In the November 2000 survey of all undergraduates, 80 percent of students said that they drink, which is a number in line with the national average. But this is not news to anyone here; this is college, after all, and alcohol consumption rates are highest among young adults age 18 to 24. For many students, alcohol use is an expected and valuable component of the college learning experience. Studies show that most of the time, most students drink socially and sensibly. When we drink very heavily, that’s when we increase our chances of hurting ourselves and others.

Countless people, including faculty, staff, administrators, parents and government officials, have pondered how harm associated with alcohol use can best be reduced on college campuses. Some groups have gone so far as to say that alcohol should be completely banned from all college campuses and that steps should be taken to make it virtually impossible for underage students to drink. It goes without saying that consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is against the law; however, we know it occurs, and we hope it happens in a responsible manner.

The FRIENDS Initiative believes that the harm associated with high-risk alcohol use can be addressed, in part, by striving to create a greater sense of campus community and empowering students to take ownership of this place that we call home. These main missions serve as the guidelines for the creation of our projects because of our belief that people who identify with a community are less likely to damage that community.

Dr. Wilson from Duke University will speak on the issue of alcohol use on college campuses on Tuesday morning and on Wednesday evening FRIENDS will play host to a community forum on the role of alcohol use on this campus. This is an excellent way for all members of the community to engage in the discussion of the role alcohol plays in campus socializing and the ways in which we, as a community, can eliminate the harm associated with high-risk alcohol use. To complement this, GPB is offering a wide range of activities during Halloweek to celebrate Georgetown’s favorite traditions surrounding one of our favorite holidays, Halloween. Giving students fun ways to spend time on campus, we can promote safety, friendship and campus community.

Alcohol will almost definitely play a part in many Hoyas’ Halloween celebrations, and that can have very positive impacts on students socializing and having fun. But hopefully, by fostering appreciation for others and the community in which we live, groups at Georgetown will help everyone have a happier and safer Halloweek and Halloween weekend. Let’s make this a great Hoya Halloween for everyone.

Lindsay Moilanen is a junior in the School of Foreign Service. James Shea is a senior in the College. Both serve on the FRIENDS Initiative Leadership Team.

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