PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Panel Discusses Excessive Drinking, Possible Solutions

State College District Judge Carmine Prestia said last night he is initiating lobbying efforts in the Pennsylvania Judicial System to increase the minimum fine for an alcohol related summary offense from $300 to $1000.

“I have seen enough significant behavior in terms of alcohol abuse, multiple offenders and repeat offenders,” said Prestia during a panel discussion on the  excessive drinking of Penn State students. “The fines aren’t high enough,” he said.

State College police chief Tom King, another member of the panel, said higher fines could decrease the number of citations issued for alcohol related incidents. “We believe that there is statistical research evidence that says if the fines were greater and the impact was harsher…you will have some impact on the problem,” said King.

In just the first quarter of 2010, the State College police department has made 111 drunk driving arrests, an increase from last year. Sixty percent of all crimes officers respond to are alcohol related, said King.

Brought together by the College of Communications, panel members discussed the increasing problem of excessive drinking and dangerous behavior that Penn State students engage in. Members of the panel included borough manager Thomas Fountaine, Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims, University Health Services representative Linda LaSalle, University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) President Christian Ragland and fifth year senior Stephen Fyler.

The 2009 Annual Student Drinking Survey, conducted by UHS, found that 75 percent of Penn State students consume more than four drinks within a three hour time period on Friday and Saturday nights. According to LaSalle, it is considered “high risk drinking” when a woman consumes four drinks and a man consumes five drinks within a two hour period of time.

The drinking culture at Penn State has been a problem faculty and community officials have wrestled with for years, but the tragic death of freshman Joe Dado last September pushed administrators to come up with new solutions to curb dangerous drinking.

“We need to try and do very different things,” said Sims. “This has been with us for a very long time…its always been the number one issue senior student affairs cite as the most significant problem that negatively impacts students’ success in higher education,” he said.

Several proposed solutions came from King, including taxing alcohol sales and limiting the number of bottles that can be purchased at once from a state store. He also encouraged student not to allow friends get belligerently drunk in the first place.

From a more sociological point of view, Fountaine said it was important for all residents to work together in order to make State College a “stronger community as a whole.” “Whether you or a student or a non-student,” said Fountaine, “you are a part of this community.”

Despite all the proposals discussed, Ragland said the ability to change lay in the hands of the students.

“It’s very simple for me,” said Ragland. “This is an issue we do have the ability to change…it’s all about accountability, it’s all about being individuals and being responsible for ourselves. We as students have the ability to do this,” he said.

[Pic]

About the Author

Comments

More by John

Interactive Children’s Museum to Open in State College

The Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, a hands-on museum that teaches children the importance of themselves and the world around them, is scheduled to open in December 2010 in downtown State College. The not-for-profit museum will host several exhibits, an arts studio and a theater for presentations.


Read on to find out more…

Historical Exhibit Commemorates PSU Heritage

Penn State Idol Competition Seeks to Discover Hidden Talent

Athletics

Penn State Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Brett Murray is no longer on the team after an uneventful tenure in Happy Valley that saw him score just one goal in 33 games.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Student Life

Your Fall 2018 Sylly Week Playlist

Whether this is your first semester or last, welcome to Sylly Week.

While You Were Gone…

Involvement Fair Returns To HUB Lawn Syllabus Week

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

While You Were Gone…

Here’s a roundup of what went on around Penn State during summer break.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

What Changed In State College While You Were Away

With another summer in the books, here are all the changes to State College that happened while you were gone.

Send this to a friend