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Analysis of Binge Drinking (Essay Sample)

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The assignment is to write an analysis of the erdely essay on binge drinking among young people. In your crritique discuss the writing techniques that erdely uses to make her illustration essay convincing. Use this analysis as a springboard to address the issue of drinking in our culture and the often tragic results of drinking irresponsibly. Share personal views, as well as experiences and/or obervations related to the issue. Think of targeted audience for your essay as well as your purpose for writing. Below is the essay that we are to do the analysis of: Binge Drinking, A campus Killer by Sabrina Rubin Pregame tailgating parties, post-exams celebrations and Friday happy hours-not to mention fraternity and sorority mixers-have long been a cornerstone of the collegiate experience. But on campuses across American, these indulgences have a more alarming side. For some of today's college students, binge drinking as become the norm. This past February I headed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, rated the No. 2 party school in the nation by the college guide Princeton Review, to see the party scene for myself. On Thursday night the weekend was already getting started. At a raucous off-campus gathering, 20-year-old Tracy Meddler struggled to down her beer as fist-pumping onlookers yelled. "Chug! Chug! Chug!" In the kitchen, sophomore Jeremy Budda drained his tenth beer, "I get real wasted on weekends," he explained. Nearby a 19-year-old estimated. "I'll end up having 17,18 beers." Swept up in the revelry, these partyers aren't thinking about the alcohol-related tragedies that have been in the new. All they're thinking about now is the next party. The keg is just about empty. As the 20-year-old announces loudly, these college students have just one objective "to get drunk!" The challenger to drink to the very limits of one's endurance has become a celebrated staple of college life. In one of the most extensive reports on college drinking thus far a 1997Harvard School of Public Health study found that 43 percent of college students admitted binge drinking in the proceeding two weeks (Defined as four drinks in a sitting for a women and five for a man, a drinking binge is when one drinks enough to risk health and we-being. "That's about five million student," says Henry Wescsler, who co-authored the study. "And it's certainly a cause for concern. Most of these students don't realized the they're engaging in risky behavior." University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway adds, "Every year we see students harmed because of their students harmed becuase3 of their involvement with alcohol." Indeed, when binge drinking came to the forefront last year with a rash of alcohol-related college deaths, the nation was stunned by the loss. There was Scott Krueger, the 18-year-old fraternity pledge at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who died of alcohol poisoning after downing the equivalent of 15 shots in on hour. There was Leslie Baltz, a University of Virginia senior, who died after she drank too much and fell down a flight of stairs. Lorraine henna, a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was left alone to sleep off her night of New Years Eve partying. Later that day her twin sister found her dead-with a blood-alcohol contends (BAC) 0.429 percent (Driving with a BAC if ,01 percent and above is illegal in all states.) Experts estimated that excessive drinking is involved in thousands of students deaths a year. And the Harvard researches found that there has been dramatic changes in why students drink: 39 percent drank "to get drunk" in 1993, but 52 percent had the same objective in 1997. "What has changed is the across-the-board acceptability of intoxication," says Felix Savino, a psychologist at UW-Madison. "Many college students today see not just drinking but being drunk as their primary way of socializing." The reasons for the shift are complex and not fully understood. But researches surmised that it may have something to do with today's instant-gratification life-style-and young people tend to take it to the extreme. In total, it is estimated that American's 12 million undergraduates drinks the equivalent of six million gallons of beer a wee. When that's combined with teenager's need to drink secretly, it's no wonder many have a dangerous relationship with alcohol. The biggest predictor of bingeing is fraternity or sorority membership. Sixty-five percent of members qualified as binge drinkers, according to the Harvard study. August 25, 1997, was meant to be a night the new Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledges at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge would never forget, and by 8 p.m. it was certainly shaping up the way. The revelry had begun earlier with a keg party. Then went to a bar near campus, where pledges consumed massive quantities of alcohol. Among the pledges were Donald Hunt, Jr., a 21-year-old freshman and Army veteran and his roommate, Benjamin Wayne, a 20-year-old sophomore. Friends since high school, the two gamely drank the alcoholic concoctions offered to them and everyone else. Before long, many in the group began vomiting into trash cans. (Donald Hunt would later allege in a lawsuit that these "vomiting stations" were set up for that very purpose, something the defendants adamantly deny.) About 9:30, incapacitated pledges were taken back to sleep it off at the frat house. The 911 call came around midnight. Paramedics were stunned at what they found: more than a dozen young men sprawled on the floor on chairs, on couches, reeking of alcohol. The paramedics burst into action, shaking the pledges and shouting. "Hey! Can you hear me?" Four couldn't be aroused ,and of those, one had no vital signs. Benjamin Wayne was in cardiac arrest. Checking to see that nothing was blocking Wynne's airway, the paramedics began CPR. Within minutes they'd inserted an oxygen tube into his lungs, hooked up an I.V., attached a cardiac monitor and begun shocking him with defibrillation paddles, trying to restart his heart Still not responding, Wynne was rushed by ambulance to Baton Rouge General Hospital. Lab work revealed that his blood-alcohol content was an astonishing 0.588 percent, nearly six times he legal driving limit for adults-the equivalent of taking about 21 shots in an hour. Meanwhile, three others fraternity pledges were undergoing similar revival efforts. One was Donald hunt. He would suffer severe alcohol poisoning and nearly die. After working furiously on Wynne, the hospital team admitted defeat. He was pronounced dead of acute alcohol poisoning. One simple fact people tend to lose sight of is that alcohol is a poison-often pleasurable, but a toxin nonetheless. And for a person with little experience processing this toxin, it can come as something of a physical shock. In general, a bottle of beer has about he same alcohol content as a glass of wine or a shot of liquor. And the body can removed only the equivalent of less than one drink hourly from the bloodstream. Many students are not just experimenting once or twice. In the Harvard study, half of binge drinkers were "frequent binge drinkers," meaning they had binged three or more times a in the previous two weeks. It also is assumed by some that bingeing is a "guy thing" an activity that, like cigar smoking and watching televised sports, belongs in the realm of male bonding. Statistics, however, show that the number of heavy-drinking young women is significant. Henry Wechsler?s Harvard study found that a hefty 48 percent of college men were binge drinkers, and women were right behind theme at 39 percent. Howard Somers had always been afraid of heights. Perhaps his fear was some sort of an omen. On an August day in 1997 he helped his 18-year-old daughter, Mindy, move into hr dorm at Virginia Tech. As they unloaded her things in the eight-floor room. Somers noted with unease the position of the window. It opened inward like an oven door, its lip about level with her bed. He mentioned it, but Mindy dismissed his concern with a smile. "I have gone through more guilt then you can imagine," Somers says now quietly. "Things I wish I had said or done. But I never thought this would happen. Who would?" Mindy Somers knew the dangers of alcohol and tried to stay aware of her limits. She'd planned not to over do it that Friday night, since her mother was coming in that weekend to celebrate Mindy's 19th birthday on Sunday. But it was Halloween, the campus was alive with activity, and Mindy decided to stop in a several off-campus parties. When she returned to her room at 3 a.m., she was wiped out enough to fall into bed fully clothed. Mindy's bed was pushed lengthwise against the long, low window. Her roommate and two other girls who were on the floor, all slept to soundly to notice that sometime after 4 a.m. Mindy?s bed was empty. When the paperboy found her face down on the grass at 6:45 a.m., he at first thought it was a Halloween prank. Police and EMT?s swarmed to the scene in minutes. Somers was pronounced dead of massive chest and abdominal injuries. She had blood-alcohol content of 0.21 percent, equal to her having drunk about five beers in one hour. Police surmised that Mindy had tried to get out of bed during the night but, disoriented, had slipped out of the window, falling 75 feet to her death," Virginia Tech Police Chief Michael Jones says. A terrible irony was that the week prior to Mindy's death had been Virginia Tech's annual Alcohol Awareness Week. While binge drinking isn't always lethal, it does have other, wide-ranging effects. Academics is one realm where it takes a heavy toll. During my trip to Wisconsin Most Students told me they didn't plan on attending classes in the following day. "Nah, I almost ever go to class on Friday. It's no big deal,: answered Greg a sophomore. According to a survey of university administrator, 38 percent of academic problems are alcohol-related, as are 29 percent of dropouts. Perhaps because alcohol increases aggression and impairs judgment, it is also related to 25 percent of violent crimes and roughly 60 percents of vandalism on campus. According to one survey, 79 percent of students who had experienced unwanted sexual intercourse in the pervious year said that they were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time. "Some people believe that alcohol can provide an excuse for inappropriate behavior, including sexual aggression," says Jeanette Norris, a University of Washington researcher. Later on, those people can claim, "it wasn't me it was the booze." Faced with the many potential dangers, college campuses are scrambling for ways to reduce binge drinking. Many offer seminars on alcohol during freshman orientation. Over 50 schools provide alcohol-free living environments. At the University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor, for instance nearly 30 percent of undergrads living in university housing now choose to live in alcohol-free rooms. Nationwide several fraternities have announced that the year 2000 their chapter houses will be alcohol-free. After the University of Rhode Island topped the Princeton Review party list two years in a row, administrators banned alcohol a all student events on campus, this year URI didn't even crack the top ten. Some campuses respond even more severely, unleashing campus raids and encouraging police busts. Researches debate, however, if such "zero-tolerance" policies are helpful or if they might actually resulting more secret, off-campus drinking. Others academics wonder if dropping the drinking age to 18 would talk away the illicit thrill of alcohol and lower the number of kinds drinking wildly. Others fell this would just create more drinking-related fatalities. Whatever it takes changing student behavior won't be easy. "What you've got her are people who think they are having fun," Harvard's Henry Wechsler explains. "You can't change their behavior by preaching at them or by telling them they'll get hurt. Around 2 a.m. at UW-Madison a hundred kids congregate at the downtown intersection in a nightly ritual. One girls is trying to pull her roommate up off the ground. "I'm not that drunk," the one on the ground insists. "I just can't stand up." Two fights break out. A police car cruises by and the crowd things, some heading to after-hours parties. Then maybe a t3 or 4 a.m. they'll go home to get some sleep, so they will be rested for when they start to drink again. Tomorrow night. source..
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Analysis of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking has been a common problem among college students in the American society. Indeed, it is a main cause of deaths in many universities. It has been established that most students engage in alcohol consumption not simply to enjoy its perceived traditional social importance, but rather to get drunk. The article Binge Drinking: A campus Killer by Rubin provides valuable insight on the problem of binge drinking among college students. According to Rubin, this problem is to be closely blamed to the influence of peer pressure among students (Rubin). This is grounded on his assertion that binge drinking is common conducted in groups, an element that brings into play some sense of drinking competition among members.
The theme in the essay by Rubin is mainly to illustrate the gravity of the binge drinking problem among college students as well as the challenge learning institutions are facing in addressing it. To achieve this goal, Rubin use statistical data, as a writing technique, on the issue to support is claims. This is clearly evident from the various statistics he provides on the various numbers of deaths that have been caused binge deaths in the various institutions of higher learning in the US (Rubin). In the essay, Rubin gives evidence of the fatality of binge drinking by citing numerous alcohol related deaths which have occurred in institutions of higher learning.
For example, he cites the death of college students due to alcohol poisoning such as Scott Krueger of the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology. In addition, Leslie Baltz a senior student in the University of Virginia was reported death after falling down a flight stairs while drunk. Thirdly, Rubin cites the death of Lorraine Henna at the Indiana University. Based on literature statistics, Rubin clearly asserts of the magnitude of binge drinking in our learning institutions, prompting his claim that excessive drinking claims the life of thousands of students die every year due alcohol abuse (Rubin). In addition, literature reviewing of previous research on the issues serves a vital role in making Rubin’s essay convincing.
Based on his essay, it is clear that he has engaged in reviewing the various literatures related to the problem of binge drinking in our institutions of higher learning. This is quite evident from its use of various research findings from the Harvard school to quantify that the problem of binge drinking among students as risen from 39% in 1993 to an estimated 52% in 1997. It is still from his use of available literature evidence that Rubin brings to our attention that about 43% of students engage in binge drinking (Rubin). The use of first hand, evidence in describing the problem of binge drinking in university campuses is another technique employed by Rubin in his essay.
True to the letter, the author of this essay has used evidence on binge drinking from some student...
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