Safe drinking on and around campus

A Saturday evening crowd occupies the first floor of Ray’s Place in downtown Kent on April 8, 2017.

Caitlin Albright

Kent State has a few policies on underage drinking, but the number one priority has always been the students’ safety and education.

College is a time when many taste freedom — and alcohol — for the first time in their lives, so it’s important to learn the proper steps to take in order to stay safe, healthy and out of trouble.

Security aides, resident assistants and other residence hall staff members try their best to educate students on the problems that can arise when alcohol is used irresponsibly.

Alcohol is permitted in some residence halls on campus, as long as students are of the legal drinking age. Centennial Court C, Engleman, McDowell and the first seven floors of Leebrick allow alcohol but with some regulations.

Students can’t have beer containers larger than 16 ounces or other alcoholic beverage containers that exceed two liters, according to the residence hall handbook.  

If caught breaking these rules, it becomes an educational issue, and the student will meet with their hall director to discuss consequences.

Brian Hellwig, the assistant director for residential communities, explained a “good samaritan provision” goes into effect when these rules are broken and a person needs medical attention.

“Any time a student or a friend of theirs reports it to anyone, they’re not going to be in trouble,” Hellwig said. “We always try to encourage students to seek help for themselves or friends and not fear getting in trouble.”

This can be avoided completely if students act responsibly.

Stay hydrated

Alcohol causes dehydration, so drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage can allow hydration.

Know your limits

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 37.9 percent of college students ages 18-22 reported binge drinking, and 12.5 percent reported heavy alcohol use. Actions like this could have a negative impact on students’ personal wellbeing.

Get a Ride

Researchers with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimate “each year 1,825 college students between the ages of 18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.” Student could help lower their probability of injuries by requesting an Uber, Lyft or call a friend for a ride while they are under the influence of alcohol.

Travel with a buddy

Campus security offers a service for students to receive a security escort when they travel on campus during its hours of operation.

Caitlin Albright is the construction, traffic and safety reporter. Contact her at [email protected].