It’s not exactly a secret that college students drink. Movies, television, and pop culture have been glorifying the trend of college-age drinking for decades. It makes no difference that most college alcohol consumption is done underage, and that the stereotypical college “binge” drinking has been shown to have a long-term negative impact on health and alcohol behavior.
Regardless of the legal and cultural impacts of college-age drinking can have on young people, it seems that college-drinking is here to stay on college campuses and the surrounding towns.
Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of students moving in large groups throughout the Keene State College campus and out onto the surrounding Keene city blocks, where most off-campus students live and consequently, most parties are held.
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Students in these groups are often carrying backpacks, purses, or water bottles filled with alcohol. This is no secret; it’s something of an unspoken agreement. We all know that students aren’t carrying books with that backpack on a Friday night.
However, the last few years have seen the drinking and the partying getting out of hand. While every year there are stories of students getting out of hand during particularly rowdy weekends, it seems to be happening more consistently in the last few years.
In the last few months there have been reports of assaults and other violent act both on campus and around Keene involving college students. We have already witnessed the end of Midnight Madness this year because of the dangers posed by drunken students, and Pumpkin Fest was very nearly canceled after the town grew tired of the drunken shenanigans of drunken college students.
While there is no way that Keene State College students are going to turn into chaste prohibitionists who stop drinking, perhaps it’s time to examine our behavior and realize that going all out weekend after weekend is not only bad for our health, but bad for the community of Keene.
Not only is it smart to keep your behavior in check to keep yourself safe but to keep yourself out of trouble too. Police aren’t necessarily going to stop the group walking quietly from one location to the next; they’re going to be suspicious of the group being loud and unruly and drawing negative attention to themselves.