They say that the college years are the most exciting and memorable times of a person’s life. There is more freedom than ever and a vast atmosphere full of social opportunities. You are introduced to more parties, people, and the topic of discussion: alcohol. However, there is only so far that this freedom can be taken, and it is no doubt that young minds take advantage of any leisure they are presented with. As students fresh out of high school are entering a new environment and being introduced to alcohol at an early age, it is no doubt that universities world-wide face an issue with binge drinking on campus. With this being said, the question arises: Should colleges and universities be held liable for the excessive drinking that takes place on campus?
The first perspective being presented is that college campuses should, in fact, be held liable. This perspective ties to relationships between parents and adolescents, along with alcohol and substance abuse prevention. There are many factors that contribute to the reasoning behind the first perspective. The first and most obvious factor is the danger and death toll. Too many lives are put on the line when students are under the influence of alcohol. This includes deaths, sexual assaults, and injures. Each year in the US alone, alcohol is responsible for 1,400 student deaths, 500,000 unintentional injuries, 600,000 student assaults, and 2.1 million cases of driving under the influence.  An anonymous college freshman in a study stated that after her roommate and boyfriend had an excessive drinking contest with beer for an hour straight, she was puking for hours on end and practically choked on her own vomit while sleeping.
Another obvious effect of alcohol consumption in college is the affect on the futures of these individuals. As college students develop these bad drinking habits at a young age, it is likely that they will carry them out as they get older into adulthood. Take the Arab regions for instance. In Lebanon, two densely populated universities were given questionnaires on their own drinking habits. One trial run was done in 1999 and another was done in 2004. Between both trials, the lifetime use of alcohol increased from 49.2% to 70.1% and dependence on alcohol increased between 2.9% to 5.3%.
The biggest effect of them all is on the education and dropout rate of students. Whether it is the students having to deal with the hangovers themselves, or those sober who are taking the time to care for others. 25% of college students state they have suffered academically because of this. For instance, another anonymous college freshman participating in a survey revealed that the night before having 3 exams, her roommate came back to their room extremely drunk and was throwing things around angrily, having no control of her actions. Knowing she had to contribute in helping her friend settle down, she spent all night taking care of her. As a result, she was only able to take one exam the next day, which she failed.
Contrary to the first half of this article, it is believed that college drinking is an issue to be left up to the students themselves to deal with. After all, they are considered adults upon entering college. Not only is this the case, but it is also argued that drinking has its positive effects.
First of all, universities have the inability to control alcohol consumption when it comes to having such a diverse campus that holds many cultural backgrounds. With such a large population coming from different households and forms of being raised world-wide, it is hard to strictly control who does what. Either way, students end up going off to college and drinking. For instance, the top consumer of alcohol in the world is France, with 12.6 liters per capita year. Not only is it just France, but countries ranging from Austria, to New Zealand and to Australia, all have high alcohol consumption rates. This proves that the mix of cultural backgrounds in universities, anywhere in the world, does not help the heavy alcohol consumption and cannot exactly be controlled.
As a young adult, you are bound to make many mistakes and it is well known they cannot be avoided. For instance, after conducting many surveys and studies on college students, it was found that though binge drinking brought most of them negative consequences, they became a whole society of people learning from their mistakes and was rather comforting. For instance, student 1 in a survey said that the first few negative occurrences with binge drinking taught her to choose a responsible group of friends she was comfortable with to participate in drinking. This way, she avoids any harm that could be done with people she does not know or feel comfortable with. Student 8 also said that as mistakes with binge drinking are made along the way, people who have not already drank, or have, learn from others mistakes as they see at parties.
As blunt as it sounds, and many students have stated, drinking in college helps students cope with stress. When most students are drowning in exams and studying hours on end, it is no wonder they lose control of themselves when the weekend comes. Student 9 in a survey says that she only ever see’s students either studying or drinking. She says that there is a very academic and cut-throat competition atmosphere, where students will spend 6 days a week studying and taking exams. However, the minute Friday comes; they disappear into parties and end up getting extremely drunk with no limits as a form of relieving all the stress from their busy week.
In the end, I do believe further research broadened my perspective on college campus drinking. Before studying the topic, I knew that drinking was seen more as a cultural and social experience more than anything. My cousins did it and told stories of it so I was very aware of it. However, I was clueless to the level of danger alcohol can put one under and the deaths it can result in. After studying both perspectives, I do believe they both have their pros and cons. Students at developing age need guidance but at the same time, they are old enough to learn on their own.
Hence, I believe college students are old enough to fend for themselves and learn from their mistakes. Even adults go through life learning mistakes at an older age. Life is about going through experiences and taking the good and/or bad from them. As students venture through their college careers, binge drinking can either wise them up as adults, or set them up for failure. However they decide to use their youth to an advantage is up to them and no one’s business but their own. Universities can serve as security for the things students do, but there is only so far they can go in terms of assuring the students safety and telling them what to do.
 Turrisi, 2007
 Kypri, 2004
 Turrisi, 2006
 Atwood, 2012