Campus Drinking: Perception Vs. Reality

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

A town hall meeting at the Milo Bail Student Center at UNO will take on underage and binge drinking.

The organizers want to hear about the underlying problems and seek realistic solutions.

They may want to start with the students on the UNO campus.

Jessica Ramirez is not your typical student. In fact she may be too good to be true.

The Bellevue West graduate has loaded up on summer hours to cut the time she needs to get her degree. Ramirez has had a plan most of her life and it doesn't include getting drunk.

Jessica Ramirez says, "Oh yes, I've always wanted to go into the medical field. I was originally a chemistry major but I didn't like it as much as I thought and then I found out we have a neuroscience program and I was like oh that is awesome."

During the summer the students at UNO tend to be returning to school in order to work on higher degrees but even with incoming freshmen Nate Bock has noticed that the students have changed since he started counseling at UNO nearly 15 years ago.

Nate Bock says, "It's a generational change. Life looks a little bit different for the kids coming in to day than it did in 1998."

College costs are higher, the job market is tighter and society has altered its view on drinking in general.

There are still college students who drink but Bock says the perception outpaces the reality.

Nate Bock says, "Ten or 15% of the students are doing 80% of the drinking and that follows pretty true with most schools nationwide."

So Ramirez and her study habits may be more common than first thought.

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