Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

Collaborative effort not enough

November 18, 2013

Earlier this week, Hopkins signed onto the Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems, an initiative of the state’s higher education institutions to curb university drinking and its residual effects. Though the Collaborative’s initiative to reduce unsafe undergraduate drinking practices is commendable, the Editorial Board believes that the university has a long way to go to truly curtail drinking on the Hopkins campus. While the Maryland Collaborative ambitiously seeks to change the drinking environment at college campuses, according to the NIH, four in five college students drink alcohol. The News-Letter feels that the creation of the Maryland Collaborative alone won’t change anything anytime soon.

The Editorial Board does not endorse underage drinking but acknowledges that drinking is a sizable component of Hopkins’ social fabric. We feel that to make such changes on this campus, student-endorsed alcohol awareness campaigns need to be more visible on campus. Top-down strategies by the administration or outside groups simply don’t work as effectively as friends and student groups reminding each other to drink safely. The News-Letter commends Rachel Drennen and Greek Life in their creation of a new, small group-based risk prevention campaign for fraternities and sororities, set to take effect with the new member class this spring. However, The Center for Health Education and Wellness’s (CHEW) PEEPS (Preventative Education and Empowerment for Peers) could host more prominent alcohol awareness events throughout the semester to inform students about the risks of alcohol and alcohol-related issues. October’s National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week would have lent a natural occasion for peer-led programming to occur.

Hopkins has a proven track record of creating some of the most successful public health initiatives in the country, and The News-Letter is confident that students and administrators together can play an integral role in reducing the risks associated with alcohol consumption.

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