By Duke Staff
As soon as October begins, people’s thoughts turn toward Halloween. What will your costume be? Will you go to a party? Host your own? Hand-in-hand with the issue of Halloween is a controversial, but inescapable, part of college campus life: alcohol.
Even as the number of liquor law violations is decreasing at Duquesne, from 462 in 2014 to 358 last year, alcohol still remains a dominant part of campus social life. Living as close as we do to the South Side and Oakland, where bars litter every city block, it is difficult to quell the popularity of social drinking.
For holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween, it is not uncommon to see hordes of wobbly students stumbling home at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. Some make it back to the dorm rooms. Some end up vomiting on the lawn outside of Towers. Such abuses of alcohol are embarrassing to Duquesne and damaging to the university’s relationship with neighboring communities. In other words, we need to reign it in, folks.
Don’t get us wrong: The Duke’s staff is far from prudish. Most of us are over 21 and greatly enjoy the occasional adult beverage. Sometimes several adult beverages. We do, however, draw the line at being so intoxicated that emergency medical staff at Mercy Hospital need to pump our stomachs to prevent alcohol poisoning. There is a huge difference between enjoying a light buzz from a couple of beers and drinking so much that you don’t know where you are or how you got there.
There’s a reason the permanent residents of Oakland, the South Side and the South Side Slopes hate when Duquesne students move in next door. They see us as a menace. It’s not uncommon for drunken students to cause property damage on a Friday night in the South Side.
As for underage drinking, we acknowledge that it’s going to happen. As long as you have adults who are both underage and overage living together in close quarters, it’s not going disappear from campus. However, there are even more risks associated with binge drinking when you’re underage. Fake IDs can result in felony charges. Being caught drinking underage will lead to a trip to DU Cares and, eventually, to being kicked off campus. No one wants his or her freshman year legacy to be a reputation as “that person who threw up in the St. Anne’s lobby.”
By all means, have fun on Halloween and during the weekend leading up to it. But make it safe, and keep it classy. Your costume will be much more impressive if the person inside it is being respectful to himself or herself, as well as others.