OSU needs more alcohol education

By Jami Kinton U-WIRE

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With all-night parties every weekend and gas stations and liquor stores within walking distance, many Ohio State University students have no trouble finding alcohol.

Jessica Helm, a sophomore in communications, said drinking is “what college life is about.”

She said most of her peers would likely agree.

“When I’m out of college, this lifestyle will probably be different,” she said. “But right now, it’s fun.”

Fun it may be, but with more and more students visiting the Student Wellness Center and the Younkin Success Center for substance abuse education and therapy, some question if OSU should do more to educate students about the risks of excessive drinking.

“I think OSU could greatly benefit from hiring more staff to spread awareness,” said Karen Donnelly, a wellness coordinator at the Student Wellness Center. “It would also be nice to have more mandatory alcohol education programs for students.”

Donnelly said that while the campus would prosper by increasing awareness, drinking habits among OSU students appear no different than other colleges. She said just fewer than one-third of OSU students are high-risk drinkers, but the majority of students are lower-risk drinkers. Donnelly said these statistics are similar to other universities.

Curt Haywood, a clinical therapist specializing in substance abuse at the Younkin Success Center, agreed with Donnelly.

“Although alcohol abuse and dependence is present at OSU, I wouldn’t say we’re different than any other urban-based college,” Haywood said. “No better, no worse.”