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America's Binge Drinking Epidemic

            According to The Harvard School of Public Health, a male who consumes five or more drinks in a row or a female who consumes four or more drinks in a row at least once in a two-week period is considered to be a binge drinker (Wechsler). Alcohol abuse has been a rampant issue on America's campuses since the first colleges were built. Until just recently, binge drinking among students was largely ignored and tolerated by parents, college administrators, and society as a whole. Today, more and more citizens, health professionals, and government officials are publicly addressing the seriousness of college alcoholism. For instance, the U.S. Surgeon General has set a national health goal geared to cut the amount of college binge drinking in half by 2010 (Wechsler). Additionally, Claire Potter writes on the issue and proposes 12-steps to a possible solution to binge drinking in her article, "Forget the SATs. How Many Days Did Your Students Drink Last Week?,"" Potter makes several valid suggestions, however, her steps rely on an idealistic amount of dedication and willingness from students and she fails to include some of the most promising and necessary steps.
             Claire Potter does not euphemize the dangerous binge-drinking culture that floods college campuses in her article, "Forget the SATs. How Many Days Did Your Students Drink Last Week?"" Instead, she clearly explains that alcoholic behavior in college has inevitable negative effects on students' health, academic success, and post-college prosperity. Parents, college administration, and society tolerate and ignore binge drinking as a problem among students, making them partially responsible for the rise in college alcoholism. Potter calls upon faculty to "come out swinging in constructive ways to address the ways in which broad-based campus reforms could create the basis for reasserting and supporting our mission as educators"" (Potter 3).

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