All Posts Tagged With: "drinking"
Young drinkers show worrisome cellular changes
You already know that binge drinking is bad for your brain and perhaps your reputation (if you’re prone to beer goggles), but here’s another reason to abstain. A new study shows immediate changes in blood circulation among binge drinkers aged 18 to 25 that resemble what older people with cardiovascular diseases experience, suggesting an increased risk of heart attacks or strokes later in life. U.S. researchers looked at two groups of healthy nonsmoking college students with mostly similar backgrounds. One group had a history of binge drinking (five or more standard drinks in the space of two hours) and the other group shunned alcohol altogether. The binge drinkers had impaired function in the endothelium and smooth muscle cells, which are needed for proper blood flow. The study is to be published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
To really reduce drinking, hit students where it hurts
The City of Ottawa has decided to tackle binge drinking among young adults, but I think their campaign is unlikely to be effective.
Indeed, drinking is a problem in the city. Binge drinking rose by nine per cent between 2000 and 2011 and causes 110 deaths and 970 hospitalizations per year among Ottawa adults, according to Ottawa Public Health. Three quarters of young adult males reported binge drinking, defined as more than five drinks in one sitting.
All this isn’t surprising. During frosh week, for example, drinking culture is celebrated among a fresh crop of students. University of Ottawa student organizers send willing first-years to Hull, Quebec where the drinking age is 18 and they can toast their new found freedom. While there are also non-drinking frosh events, turnout is low.
Continue reading City of Ottawa to promote ‘culture of moderation’
Why I hope this venture goes ahead
When the Alma Mater Society here at the University of British Columbia revealed last year that the planned new Student Union Building (SUB) will house a brewery, students were overjoyed at the prospect of cheap, local craft beer.
Not only would a SUB brewery add some flavour to UBC’s decidedly drab cuisine, it would also significantly up the ante of our campus culture. Right now, our coolness factor is suffering. Our version of the Harlem Shake has only 156,000 views on YouTube. The University of Toronto’s has more than 2.2 million views, even beating out that legendary Lip Dub we made last year (remember that?) with its mere two million views.
Five things students are talking about today (February 21st)
1. It must be especially difficult to be gay and a Mormon right? Well it may have just become easier. Jimmy Hales, a student at Brigham Young University, decided to come out to his friends and family while recording their reactions. Most of them were surprisingly supportive—if a bit shocked. In a blog post he writes that he will never get married and plans stay celibate his whole life, but he’s happy with the acceptance he’s found. That may not be the ideal situation for most gay youth, but it seems to work fine for him.
2. It’s less than a month until the only holiday where students feel justified drinking before noon: St. Patrick’s Day. In anticipation of excessive drinking, one U.S. college, Penn State, has a daring plan. They’re going to pay 34 downtown bars, restaurants and shops $5,000 each to not sell alcohol that day, reports The Associated Press. It’s happening because of complaints from the community. The city hasn’t had a St. Paddy’s Day like that one last year in London, Ont.
What students are talking about today (February 12th)
1. CrossFit, the intense group workout craze, has found a following at Queen’s University where a Facebook page calling for it to be offered in the campus Athletics and Recreation Centre has more than 500 likes. But the ARC powers-that-be are concerned the instructor who wants to offer it isn’t certified as a personal trainer or an employee. They also say the exercises could have health consequences. The Queen’s Journal isn’t buying the explanation, citing the fact that student-run fencing and archery clubs already use the gym.
2. Science, yes science, has determined that underage American alcohol drinkers are sticking to a relatively small number of, what are in my opinion, dreadful tasting brands. Almost 28 per cent of the 13 to 20-year-old study participants drank Bud Light within the past month, 17 per cent guzzled Smirnoff malt beverages, 15 per cent downed regular Budweiser and 13 per cent sipped on Coors Light. Researchers at Boston University and Johns Hopkins surveyed 1,032 teens online. Their paper is published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
What students are talking about today (February 1st)
1. Nothing gets students more riled up than when you try to curb unhealthy binge drinking. The University of Ottawa proposed banning shots and limiting beer pitchers to groups of three people or more, but is reconsidering after a backlash from students. Anne-Marie Roy, spokesperson of the Student Federation at the University, told CBC News that the bars they run on campus are safe for students and that such restrictions would hurt revenues. (Not to mention the fact that students would probably just go somewhere else if they wanted shots or pitchers anyway.) Speaking of drinking, a new study shows that too much alcohol leads to Type 2 diabetes in rats. Just saying.
2. The federal Liberal leadership candidates are touring campuses. Justin Trudeau spoke at Brandon University in Manitoba on Thursday where he talked about broadening the party’s support and creating jobs. Marc Garneau was at the University of Prince Edward Island earlier this week where he told The Cadre he would help solve joblessness through a tax credit to employers who hire young people and capital gains exemptions for angel investors who invest in a start-ups.
3. At Queen’s University, where recent deaths caused a rethink of mental health services, The Journal reports that accessing Health, Counselling and Disability Services is difficult for people on certain schedules like those in the School of Nursing who work long days. The regular hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. However, HCDS director Mike Condra has stepped up, saying that while evening and weekend appointments weren’t popular when offered in the past, students are welcome to call to try and arrange alternative appointments.
4. A pair of former students who tried and failed to sue the University of Toronto for $80-million for giving them failing grades can try again reports the National Post. Houman Mortazavi and Mojgan Yousefi, a married couple, had enrolled as doctoral students in the university’s Department of Economics in 2007, but repeatedly left Canada and flew back to Iran to visit an ailing relative during the semester. After much back and forth, the university issued them failing grades.
5. The University of Saskatchewan’s Faculty of Medicine’s council has voted in favour of changing the entrance requirements for medicine to make every applicant complete a four year degree before applying, reports CTV. The school currently accepts some students with as little as two years of study, but the faculty director of admission says students take advantage of the system by taking many easy introductory level courses in those first two years to boost their marks.
What students are talking about today (January 30th)
1. Almost a year after the start of anti-tuition marches that shut down many Quebec university programs and later toppled the Jean Charest government, the new Parti Quebecois government says zero tuition is not currently feasible, surely disappointing many of the activists who got the PQ elected. Meanwhile, François Legault, leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, is trying to make the anti-tuition supporters heads explode by proposing a two-tier system of tuition in which the provinces “top four” universities—Montreal, McGill, Laval and Sherbrooke—would set their own tuition fees, while the remaining 14 would become much more affordable teaching-focused universities. The idea of two-tier education with research and teaching universities isn’t new and it isn’t very popular in Canada, but there’s a reason it never goes away—it could potentially work. Read more on Legault’s plan here.
What students are talking about today (January 2nd)
1. If 2011 was the year of Occupy Wall Street, 2013 may be the year that the rich get punished, if only just a little bit. The United States avoided its “fiscal cliff” after Congress passed a deal that includes tax increases for those who make more than $450,000—roughly the richest one per cent. They will now pay just under 40 per cent income tax, up from about 35 per cent. Meanwhile in France—where Socialist president Francois Hollande has made no attempt to hide his distaste for the rich—the country’s highest court, citing unfairness, rejected a top tax rate of 75 per cent. The French government plans to try again. In Canada the tax increases are more equitable: everyone will pay more in Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums this year. Yay!
2. Meanwhile, the CCPA reports that the typical executive among Canada’s top 100 highest paid will earn the equivalent of the median Canadian paycheque—$46,000—by noon today. The good news for OWS supporters is that average executive pay fell eight per cent last year to $7.7 million. And this might make you feel better about your future earnings: $34,000 puts you in the richest one per cent globally, according to a World Bank economist. The median salary worldwide is $1,225.
SAIT’s two-drink limit, bedbugs & Transgender Day
1. In case you needed more evidence that binge drinking is a pervasive problem on Canadian campuses consider this: SAIT in Calgary is imposing a new rule on the student-owned pub that limits patrons to two drinks before 3 p.m. and outlaws mid-day shooters, reports CBC.
2. Ryerson is the latest school to deal with a bedbug epidemic in student residences. The university has eight confirmed cases so far this year, reports The Ryersonian. As Maclean’s discovered two years ago, the problem is fairly common across Canada. Here are five things you should know about these biting beasts.
3. Despite the fact that Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, celebrated the bombing of a city bus in Tel Aviv that injured 22 people, a cease-fire with Israel was announced Wednesday in Cairo.
Smart elephants, aggressive panhandlers & the Whitecaps
1. An elephant in a South Korean zoo is using his trunk to mimic human words. Koshik can reproduce five words by tucking his trunk inside his mouth to modulate sound. He can mouth, in Korean, hello, sit down, no, lie down and good. It’s not clear whether he understands the words.
2. Unlike in the past, students at Kwantlen University will now only be allowed to vote for a single student association “constituency representative” that they self-identify with, according to the student association’s chief returning officer, Corey Van’t Haaff. The KSA has positions reserved for “seven groups who have historically faced unique challenges.” The seven groups are mature students, queer students, international students, students of colour, those with disabilities, aboriginal students and women. Read up on the latest in identity politics in The Runner.
3. Alcohol has been linked to deaths and assaults on Canadian campuses. Ken MacQueen goes deeper into what universities are doing to fight risky drinking, like butt-chugging (which is no joke).
Inside the war against risky drinking on campus
From the 2013 Maclean’s University Rankings
When outraged members of Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Tennessee called a news conference in September to protest the suspension of their fraternity due to allegations of strange and excessive alcohol abuse, two words sprang to mind: Animal House. The news conference, immortalized on YouTube, is so unintentionally bizarre that it could be mistaken for an outtake from the subversive 1978 frat-boy comedy that launched a million toga parties and countless hangovers. The press conference—featuring a bow-tied, dead-serious Southern lawyer backed by an angelic legion of fraternity members in their Sunday suits—was called to refute allegations that one of their own, 20-year-old Alexander P. Broughton, had indulged in “butt-chugging” massive quantities of wine. While there was no denying that Broughton was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning after a night of fraternity drinking games, the idea of an alcohol enema is “repulsive” to Broughton, his lawyer said. “He is a straight man.”
Dangerous drinking, First World Problems & free textbooks
1. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to report this, but public safety is at risk (seriously). A University of Tennessee student was hospitalized with a dangerously high blood-alcohol level after his fraternity, which has now been suspended until at least 2015, allegedly gave him an alcohol enema. Students call this “butt-chugging.” The apparent victim denies it, but such things have happened. At least one student died this way in 2005, according to Inside Higher Education.
2. This could be a game-changer. California’s governor has signed a law that will make more than 50 core textbooks free to download. Hard copies will cost just $20. I’ll bet it’s only a matter of time before this idea catches on here.
3. A Queen’s Journal columnist has explored the trend of #FirstWorldProblems after a life-changing event that happened while waiting in line with a friend for a latte. “We were informed that our Starbucks rewards no longer included free flavour shots,” writes Trilby Goouch. “As regular flavour shot users, we were both a little rattled by this new information.” First World Problems indeed.
London shooting, Regina theft and Toronto mega-project
1. Students at Western University in London, Ont. had their homecoming weekend marred by the shooting death of 21-year-old Terrell Johnson off-campus early Sunday. A 28-year-old man was also taken to hospital. Joshua Carter, 22, is charged with second-degree murder.
2. Hannim Nur, the student who resigned from her post as president of the University of Regina’s Students’ Union (URSU), did so because she stole $700 of student money from the Canadian Federation of Students Saskatchewan by forging signatures on cheques when she was Chair. A statement from CFS-S says that the money was repaid and that they’ve updated procedures to reduce the chance of it happening again. Questions remain as to why Nur continued to work at URSU after she admitted the forgery to CFS.
3. A proposed mega-development on King Street in Toronto will house a whole lot of people in three 80-story condo towers. It will also include two museums and facilities for nearby OCAD University. The design is by Frank Gehry and the funding is from theatre king David Mirvish. Tweeters have compared the design to a tipped-over recycling bin, but Edward Keenan of The Grid points out that Gehry’s early sketch of the now-loved Art Gallery of Ontario once raised eyebrows too.
Freshman 15, politics in the classroom & anger at OCAD U.
1. Yesterday there was a flash sale from Chartwells at the University of Prince Edward Island during which poutine was 50 per cent off for a few hours. Cadre reporter Josh Coles took on the breaking news assignment: “This poutine was weighty. Heavy. Thick. I would compare its weight to that of a litre of chocolate milk,” he wrote.
2. The poutine and chocolate milk diet seems like evidence for that legendary Freshman 15 weight gain, but another study suggests the weight gain isn’t really 15 pounds. Researchers from Auburn University in Alabama showed that the Freshman 15 is really more like the Four-Year 12. After four years at the college, students in the study had gained an average of 11.7 pounds.
3. Homecoming will likely make a homecoming next year at Queen’s University after students finally behaved in public with just 12 arrests over the weekend compared to 124 in 2008. In an email sent Monday to the Queen’s community, Principal Daniel Woolf wrote that he’s working with “various members of our community, including alumni, to plan for the potential safe return of fall reunions in 2013.” The University Council asked Woolf to reinstate the tradition, which was barred after many years of alcohol-related arrests. See The Perils of Drinking on Canadian Campuses for more.
A timeline of injuries, deaths, scandals and crackdowns
Graphic by Jessie Willms. Text by Josh Dehaas.
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Michelle Obama, Quebec election, Adderall & Harry Potter
1. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama gave a heartwarming speech at last night’s Democratic National Convention. She mentioned that she and her husband Barack struggled with college debt, contrasting them with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. She said her husband believes “success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
2. The Gateway student newspaper obtained documents that “revealed serious health and safety concerns” in Lister Residence at the University of Alberta, where alcohol was recently banned in common areas. Problems included “a Floor Coordinator and a student vomiting on each other, collecting it in a pitcher, and having a third student drink it.” Serious concerns indeed.
3. Another student paper, The Harvard Crimson, has done something less impressive: run online advertisements for ADDTabz, the “Adderall Alternative.” Adderall is a prescription-only stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. It is sold illegally as a study aid. This advertising partnership seems rather unbecoming of an Ivy League school, much like last week’s cheating scandal.
A grad’s survival guide
If you choose to drink, there are a few things you need to know. We’re not talking about the legal drinking age or the dangers of drunk driving, which society has justifiably drilled into your head since you were old enough to finger paint. Instead, Yuni Kim, a recent graduate of York University who is currently in teacher’s college, offers you 10 things every student should know about drinking.
1. Keep emergency cash for taxis. At some point, you will stumble out of a bar, feel the slap of the chilly Canadian air in your face and realize you’re nowhere near home. It will be 2 a.m. and public transit won’t be there to save you. Many cab drivers won’t take debit, and there’s not a single ATM on this sketchy street. You’ll be glad you have that spare $20 to whisk you away.
2. Pick up the tab once in a while. Be cool enough to buy a round of pints for your friends whenever you have the cash to spare. This ritual builds camaraderie and chances are the karma will come back to you just as your bank account hits zero around Thanksgiving. With that said…
Arcade Fire, James Holmes, professor pay and maple syrup
1. Thieves in Quebec stole $30-million of maple syrup from a warehouse in St-Louis-de-Blandford, 160 kilometres northeast of Montreal. You may think this is funny until you realize that it affects maple syrup prices for all of us. It’s a clear sign we need more offshore production.
2. Here’s a charity basketball game actually worth seeing: POP Montreal will host the second annual “POP vs. Jock,” game featuring Win Butler of Arcade Fire and Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes while Arcade Fire’s lovely Régine Chassagne provides organ accompaniment. They will battle with McGill Redmen and Concordia Stingers on Sept. 22 at McGill’s Sports Centre.
3. Harvard University is investigating 125 students for cheating on a take-home final exam. Nearly half of the students in an introductory government class are suspected of jointly coming up with answers or copying off one another. It’s a sad day folks: the honour system has been discredited.
Rihanna cries, a stolen iPad and socialist summer school
1. In an interview promoted on her OWN Network even more often than Proactiv acne treatment, Oprah gets pop star Rihanna to cry and admit that she has forgiven Chris Brown for hitting her. “We are very, very close friends. We built a trust again,” she said. For the record, they’re not in a relationship, even though they chill in San Tropez.
2. Vancouver cyclists are angry at police for doing their jobs. Cops have been handing out $100 fines to those without lids, as a city bylaw dictates. Helmet haters say such laws cause people to cycle less. So far this year, 1,112 tickets have been given to bikers without headgear.
3. NASA’s Curiosity rover zapped its first Martian rock with a laser on Sunday. The rover, which landed two weeks ago, was sent to help answer the question: is Mars habitable? Considering the basic human need to burn tiny holes in things, the answer appears to be yes.
Energy drinks, job numbers, cow-human marriages…
Here we give you the 10 stories that Canadian students are talking about today. Like us on Facebook for your daily fix.
1. Combining caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol leads to more casual sex, apparently.
“Mixing energy drinks with alcohol can lead to unintentional overdrinking, because the caffeine makes it harder to assess your own level of intoxication,” the study’s lead researcher said.
Here’s another theory: not consuming an energy drink increases the likelihood of leaving the party early and going to bed—alone.
2. An 18-year-old on Bali, Indonesia was caught having sex with a cow. As local tradition dictates, he was forced to marry the cow in front of hundreds of people and then the animal was drowned. In his defense, he said he believed the cow was a beautiful young woman. No word on whether caffeinated energy drinks were involved.