Schools Target Cheap Beer as Root of Binge Drinking


Several universities regularly listed among the nation’s top “party schools” are joining city officials and bar owners to try to curb the supply of the biggest contributor to binge drinking on and off campus: abundant, cheap beer. USA Today reports that the University of Florida is working with Gainesville bar owners, beer distributors and City Hall to discourage drink-till-you-drop specials and to start police “party patrols” to clamp down on rowdy keggers and kids violating the national legal drinking age of 21.

The University of Wisconsin published a guide for students on how to throw a safe house party without serving half the student body. Parents of incoming freshmen got a letter from Chancellor John Wiley warning that “high-risk drinking is one of the prime reasons that some students don’t succeed.” Two factors drive drinking on campus, according to studies from 1993 to 2004 by Harvard’s School of Public Health: price and access. Binge drinking occurs at higher rates in places where beer is cheap and many bars and liquor stores are located in close proximity to a campus.


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