Is binge drinking a problem at Langara?

The LSU Cafe is the only on-campus location where students can have alcoholic beverages. Photo by David LaRiviere.
The LSU Cafe is the only on-campus location where students can have alcoholic beverages. Photo by David LaRiviere.

A recent Nova Scotia report suggested colleges ban campus pub crawls to end student binge drinking, but the Langara Social Club has no plans to stop hosting  events.

Students Nova Scotia, an alliance of eight post-secondary student associations, released the report outlining the dangers of heavy alcohol consumption on university and college campuses. The report made 31 recommendations that student unions and campus bars could implement to reduce student binge drinking. This includes the ban on school events such as pub crawls.

According to the Canadian Public Health Association, binge drinking is considered five or more drinks in one sitting for men and four or more drinks for women.

“Overconsumption has serious impacts on students’ health, to the point where we have lost students in the past few years,” said Jonathan Williams, executive director of Students Nova Scotia.

The future of social events at Langara 

The Langara Social Club has hosted numerous pub crawls and is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day event on Mar. 17 at FIVESIXTY, a downtown club.

But social club member Eyren Uggenti said the events are about offering students an opportunity to socialize off campus.

“I think it’s a fact of society these days . . . socialization occurs and alcohol is continuously brought into the mix even on a professional level, regardless of if it’s student-oriented or not,” he said, adding that most social club events are held off campus.

Christine Peterson, assistant department chair of the Langara counselling department, said binge drinking isn’t as much of a problem on campus as it is at other institutions.

“I’m not suggesting that Langara students are not engaging in binge drinking, but rather that it does not appear to be a campus issue,” she said.

Peterson said that because Langara is a commuter school and there are no on-campus residences opportunities to drink are limited.

While heavy drinking is widespread at most Canadian post-secondary institutions, the rate of heavy drinking in Nova Scotia was nearly five per cent higher than the national average, according to data from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey.

Reported by David LaRiviere 

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