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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

College preparation needs to go beyond academics

Fraternity+members+play+Beer+Die%2C+a+popular+drinking+game+in+college.+https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ABeer_Die.jpg
Fraternity members play Beer Die, a popular drinking game in college. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beer_Die.jpg

Gonzaga has to get real with its students. There is no denying the high quality of academic preparation for college that Gonzaga students undergo. Rigorous work loads and proactive college counseling combine to create a smooth transition for handling academics in college for Gonzaga graduates. We are definitely prepared for college academics; however, we are not always ready for the social side of college.

Many students arrive at college as freshmen and experience an immediate culture shock. One day they are living under the supervision of their parents, and the next they are completely free to live as they like. Given the densely populated setting of college campuses, alcohol is nearly unavoidable. It is estimated that 53% of college students ages 18-24 drank in the last month. This causes students to be immediately thrown into an alcohol and drug ridden culture, one which probably differs immensely from previous home life. 

To be clear, I am not worried about the students who engage in such activities throughout high school regularly. While they may also experience a few rough patches, they have most likely developed a familiarity with the social scene at college and know how to navigate through it. I am worried about the freshmen experiencing “freedom” away from strict parents for the first time. Freshmen with no alcohol experience and a tendency to give in upon being pressured could become incredibly vulnerable in a hazing situation where they are being forced to drink. 

Despite the undeniable prominence of alcohol at college, it is hardly touched upon in Gonzaga college preparation. Perhaps Gonzaga would feel like it is condoning underage consumption of alcohol if it acknowledges drinking, but this belief would just display poor priorities. Many kids don’t have the family life or friend groups to expose them to college culture, so nearly all their expectations for college come from what Gonzaga teaches them. 

Gonzaga has a responsibility to prepare its students for all aspects of college. Teaching young, impressionable students to stand up for themselves in the face of peer pressure can truly be the difference between life and death.Each year, 1,519 college students die from alcohol related incidents. Gonzaga needs to emphasize the dangers of alcohol consumption, especially in a setting such as a college party. Along with college counseling assemblies, administrators must conduct talks with the student body detailing the social scene at college. Another solution could be requiring Gonzaga’s college counselors to discuss the social scene in their one-on-one sit down meetings with each student. Doing so would surely result in students receiving the most well rounded and complete preparation for college.

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    Carol CorganFeb 23, 2023 at 7:35 am

    Daniel–Is there not a unit on this in Ethics? And other addictive behaviors?

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