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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"I'm Talking About Trouble - Right Here in River City"

I am not sure if I have any blog readers left as it has been far too long since I have written. Not to worry, everything is fabulous in my household. My children are great and they both love their new schools. Happy children mean happy parents!!

According to last week’s Salt Lake Tribune there is “trouble” brewing that I think you should know about. The Bold Headline reads “Co-ed dorms spur drinking?” Frankly, I am quite certain almost all college dorms spur drinking so this headline doesn’t surprise me. As I read further all is revealed

BYU researchers suggest mixed dorms are a troubling social experiment.”


A social experiment???

I lived in co-ed dorms in college over thirty years ago. That is one long experiment!!!

A BYU social science professor looked at 500 students at five universities, none of them in Utah, and found that students who lived in co-ed dorms were 2.5 times more likely to binge drink on a weekly basis. Apparently, these BYU researchers also found “greater use of pornography and more permissive attitudes about sex”.

This is a call for further investigation.”

Wow! What are they really worried about?

BYU students are already required to live in single-sex housing. They should be safe from all this “trouble”. Are they suggesting that every university should follow their lead? As a four year resident of Utah, I can tell you the answer is YOU BET THEY ARE.

You see here in Utah everyone is supposed to fall in line with whatever the Mormon Church dictates. For example, just last week the Salt Lake City council passed an ordinance making it illegal to discriminate against gays in employment and housing. They only did so after the Mormon Church gave a nod of approval. For those of you who live elsewhere, this must seem unbelievable and it is!!!

Here is what I know for sure. The real “trouble” here in “river city” is that there are more and more People Like Us in Utah and we have no intention of going along with archaic restrictions on personal rights. I respect BYU and the Mormon Church and hope they continue their traditions at their school and their places of worship. Utah, however, is part of the United States of America where we are guaranteed freedom of and from religion. So please, keep your single sex dorms and your rules. Just don’t believe for a minute that the rest of us will fall in line.


Melissa Rees said...

Ahhh the joys of living in Utah!! You never get used to it!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Glad you are back in the keyboard saddle!

Actually I am glad they are doing the drinking/co-ed correlation study.

Like you, I lived in a co-ed dorm in my college days waaaaayyyy back when..and we even had co-ed dorm rooms for that matter! I hated that my bathroom was shared by three girls and one guy who hogged the shower with his girlfriend.

Anyhoo...seeing how many alcohol related deaths and comas happen on college campuses (nothing new there!) I'm glad for any study that can pin-point whatever accelerates drinking among college students. The study, like all studies, provides us with information. How people choose to use the information is another matter. As a librarian I believe in freedom of information and research being made available. (I will even give you information on bomb is up to you to decide what you will do with that information!)

As a parent, it would be great information to know about what accelerates campus drinking before settling a child into a dorm situation. The popularity of drug and alcohol free dorms are growing across all public and private campuses...just because students get tired of stepping over vomit in the hallways and elevators everyday. I know I sure did...and would have happily switched to a drug and drink free dorm had I had the chance. Going out for a beer or cocktail instead of knocking back drinks on a dorm bed was so much more classy anyway.

jill said...

Thanks for the comment Jill. I agree that drinking in college is way out of hand and am all for freedom of information. However, a study of 500 students really does not tell us that much. I gladly send my daughter off to a coed dorm and know she has learned how to be responsible and use good judgement because we are open and frank with her about all the issues which she will face. Scare tactics and isolation from the realities of the world just don't work. It's like teaching abstinence only - you might just end up with a pregnant teen. Just ask Sarah Palin!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

You are right...a study of 500 doesn't tell us much...but then again I have never seen an academic study that doesn't end with the words "further research is needed...."

Wish MADD would pony up the money for a much bigger study.

It is interesting that the Founding Fathers such as John Adams at Yale had alcoholic beverages three times a day served to them as part of their regular life at college, at age 15 no less.

Of course back then drinking and being drunk were addressed as two totally different matters.

Sadly too...way too many well tutored children have arrived at college determined to not get drunk, but just imbibe enough to be social. I know girls who were horrified to discover that a single "sociable" drink had consequences that medical treatments couldn't fix. No scare tactic...just memories of what happened to my dorm mates Randi and Patricia and Jen...Rachel...Julie...Liz...
They knew what they were doing...right up until they didn't.

I have no answers...and each generation has its own horror stories of learning curves with alcohol. I just wish it wasn't such a painful curve for so many. I pray your daughter and son will not be among those who have mis-steps when the time for them to chose comes.