College means more than booze and blackouts

By Taylor Powell

 

While some students clink their beers each weekend, others go kart, jump on trampolines and play bingo in the dark.
The next day, those other students are not running for Advil or lying in bed to recover.
With organizations like PuLSE, PAWS (Peers Advocating Wellness for Students), Good Clean Fun and other campus groups, students are not forced to choose between having fun and drinking heavily.
PAWS promotes wellness on campus through events, programs and social media, said PAWS president Rachel Brown.
“Our goal is to adapt to students’ needs as they arise and give students information they will find most relevant and helpful when they need it,” Brown said.
Partnered to PAWS, Good Clean Fun acts as a student-run resource that provides information on “hangover free” local and campus events. The organization advertises Student Government Association, late-night and Indianapolis events that students would otherwise have to look hard to find, said Sarah Barnes-Diaz, coordinator of health education and outreach programs.
“I think there are a lot of students who… prefer to socialize in events that don’t necessarily involve alcohol,” Barnes-Diaz said. “Or even for students who drink and do drink often, it’s good to know that there are lots of other fun stuff going on.”’
Forty-five percent of this year’s incoming Butler students reported not using alcohol in the past year, according to data from the My Student Body survey. The survey is administered to incoming freshmen and transfer students.
Of the incoming students who do drink, 47 percent reported they often avoid situations where heavy drinking takes place.
Students should achieve a balance between drinking and participating in other fun weekend activities. By taking advantage of free campus events, students put themselves at less of a risk to alcohol’s detrimental side effects.
“I totally disagree that drinking is the only way people can have fun here on campus,” Brown said. “There are tons of fun events going on all the time that students can go to.”
The Health and Recreation Center also does its part to give students weekend activity options.
“You can have fun without making some of those unhealthy decisions,” said Scott Peden, director of recreation. “The HRC tries to support that mission through its hours.”
On late Friday and Saturday nights, the HRC stays open even when few people are working out, Peden said. The HRC also hosts its own late-night events. The center aims to coordinate four late-night programs a year.
While drinking can be a fun social activity, what happens during and after using alcohol may not always be worth the risk.
A false notion exsists that students must drink every weekend in order to have friends or to enjoy college.
However, they do not.
Attending programs whose main focus is not alcohol, students can be safer, more responsible and actually remember all of the fun they have.
In the case of drinking in college, balance is key.
“Butler students really should take advantage of all that the university has to offer while they can,” Brown said. “There’s no other time that we will be awarded the opportunity to participate in so many awesome, free and cheap events on campus and around Indianapolis.”
Students can use SGA and Good Clean Fun’s social media pages to find out more about upcoming weekend activities.

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