The Collegian
Thursday, June 30, 2022

A weekend at U of R

I spent most of my Saturday night walking around campus. I don't know exactly what I expected to see on my stroll, but I unfortunately didn't catch any goose murderers or spot any alumni rekindling old flames in the bushes. Instead, I saw a student in Gray Court puking uncontrollably and a group of bewildered exchange students playing a board game in a lounge.

Both the vomit king and the gamers looked as if they would rather be chewing off somebody's toenails than doing what they currently were. I had to wonder: Why are people resorting to binge drinking and boring board games on a Saturday night that has so much potential? Are total self-destruction and complete boredom the only extremities in which we can spend our down time?

Now forgive me for coming across as outraged by any of this. That is not the case at all. It is old news that for most students the prospect of drinking is one to be relished, but the seeming dependency we have upon alcohol should be cause for genuine concern. It has become apparent that we increasingly use alcohol as a substitute for the lack of confidence we have in ourselves to socialize, meet new people and have fun in general.

As I said, this is nothing new, but are we really so collectively insecure that we've started pre-gaming the pre-game because so-and-so might be there and I don't want to be awkward?

The Campus Activities Board has attempted to provide alternative options for students who aren't interested in drinking on the weekends. CAB has hosted multiple comedians and other performers for students to enjoy. They also show movies in the commons at 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

The problem is that the events are normally at the beginning of the evening and are usually over by 11 p.m. Therefore, after the show, non-drinkers have to struggle to figure out plans for the rest of the night if they wish to do anything other than sleep or study.

How plausible is the idea of wanting to get to bed early on the weekend? Campus at night is a symphony of sounds. Stereo bases, beds and drab dorm-rooms-turned-disco- dance-floors are thumping. I for one, love the sounds of a campus that feels alive, but what about those who have nowhere to go but back to their room? The idea of going off campus seems like a good alternative, but first, you need money and a car. Not to mention the fact that not much is open after 11 p.m. for non-drinkers except maybe Wal-Mart, which, as it turns out, closes at 10 p.m.

Nowadays, even pop culture promotes the idea of college being a place where you booze or you lose. The song "I Love College," by Asher Roth, discusses the fun college has to offer in terms of getting completely wasted and having tons of sex. "I can't tell you what I learned from school but/I could tell you a story or two, um [...] don't leave the house 'til the booze gone/And don't have sex if she's too gone/When it comes to condoms put two on/Then tomorrow night find a new jawn," Roth sings. Firstly, what the hell is a jawn? Secondly, why do I get the overwhelming feeling that this is not the song I want to reflect on when I'm receiving my diploma?

The people that do not drink on campus are a minority, but they are a sizeable one. They should have more events available to them on the weekends. The events would not only be just for non-drinkers, but also for those who decide that they just need a break from the weekly booze cruise. If we don't get more activities for students on late-night weekends, we are guilty of catering to one group of students, which goes against the university's apparent desire to be inclusive.

It is true that college is what you make it. But you can't make something out of next to nothing.

Contact columnist Liz Monahan at liz.monahan@richmond.edu

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