Dear Lucas Johnson, I’m writing in regards to your column “At UW, turning down Solo cup might just leave you solo” published on Feb. 14. I admire your stance on the issue of the party culture here at the University of Wisconsin. Based off personal encounters, I know many students who share your same opinions are too nervous to speak up against the copious amounts of drinking on this campus due to fear of persecution.
As you noted in your column, speaking up about not wanting to party or go out on the weekends is often questioned and looked down upon by other students, which is not permissible. I would like to take your argument a bit further however and state the administration of UW is the real culprit.
Yes, students should be responsible for their own actions and decisions on campus. But I’d argue encouragement from authority here at UW is the backbone of the drinking culture. During my freshman year, I remember having to take the online AlcholEdu course. I went into college having my mind set on the fact I wasn’t going to get into the whole “party scene” for personal reasons. I was excited there was a program like AlcholEdu to help students learn about the effects of alcoholism.
However, I was incredibly disappointed throughout the entire course. While it did educate about the internal effects of alcohol, it seemed as though the administration assumed everyone was going to be drinking without acknowledging it was even illegal. Drinking was okay, as long as students weren’t being stupid about it. There are even signs in dorms and around campus that state “Don’t Be That Guy,” or encourage students to drink water between drinks, assuming that all students are going to party — they just want us to do it safely.
ASM reviews adverse effects of UW drinking culture on students of colorAssociated Students of Madison listened to a presentation on the impact the University of Wisconsin’s drinking culture on students of Read…
When I was in the dorms, there were house fellows who would allow drinking as long as they didn’t physically see it. The fact this campus even offers “substance-free” floors is preposterous to me. How many freshmen or students living in dorms are under age 21? Every floor should be substance-free. Partying surely isn’t discouraged here, and if anything, it’s encouraged.
If the party culture of UW is going to change, it has to start with the administration changing the way they approach the party culture. Students shouldn’t feel like their life choices are being questioned for not going out Thursday through Saturday night. I want change just as much as you do, and it needs to start at the top.
Brooke Parfrey ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in sociology and community and nonprofit leadership.