Local Colleges Still Losing War Against Student Drinking

Pity the poor American institution of higher learning. Student drinking on campuses leads to property damage, arrests, injuries and deaths, hazings, and a tsunami of reports of student sexual assaults. (Research shows that 89 percent of those assaults involve drinking.) A recent study declared Pennsylvania colleges sixth in the nation in alcohol arrests of students, led by Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Lehigh, Penn Tech, Penn State and Kutztown — not the sort of high ranking universities crave. So naturally, administrators are doing their damnedest to clamp down on alcohol. At Swarthmore College, for example, new rules — no more hard liquor at school-sponsored parties, no more drinking games like beer pong, no more punch or party bowls — went into effect on campus in the fall of 2014. Students, predictably, were not enthused. “Seriously — can the admin with a straight face — indeed genuinely — defend these rules?” one incredulous undergrad demanded in the student newspaper, the Daily Gazette.

A year and a half later, a new report from Swarthmore’s department of public safety shows that while alcohol incidents at the campus’s three major social events dipped slightly in the first year of the more stringent prohibitions, they’ve since soared to new heights. (Nifty chart here.) Read more »

Hangovers Cause $82 Billion Headache For Workplaces

Maksym Poriechkin/Shutterstock

Maksym Poriechkin/Shutterstock

The costs of a night of drinking are as timeless as alcohol itself. For many, a headache and some dehydration are standard expectations after a night out on the town. However, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that heavy drinking has much more literal costs, and not just to your wallet or liver.

The report studied drinking in 2010, finding that excessive alcohol use cost the U.S. economy $249 billion over the course of the year — with $82 billion coming from lost or decreased workplace productivity.

Here’s how the rest of the economic costs break down: Read more »

I’m Pre-Gaming My 40th High School Reunion


I spent some of this weekend trying to book a table for nine for lunch next Saturday, which turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought. It seems a lot of places in my old hometown are only open for dinner on Saturdays. And that was a problem because my best high-school friends and I want to pre-game our high school reunion.

Well, not pre-game in the current college-student sense, as in “Get stumble-drunk before we even get to the party.” We’re not the drinkers we used to be, frankly. (And a couple of us never were drinkers at all.) But we want a chance to be able to talk and catch up without unfamiliar faces coming up to us in the dark and offering us hugs. (Note to reunion planners: You can’t read name tags in the dark.) It’s not like I never see my old high-school friends. A group of five of us have been getting together just about every year, sometimes with spouses, sometimes with moms, sometimes with kids, sometimes just by ourselves. We still get along, still make each other laugh and cry, just like we did when we were wearing hockey kilts, or “white shirts, dark skirts” for choir and band. Read more »

PHOTOS: Penn Students Fight for Their Right to Party at Free Fling Protest

Students gathered today on Penn’s College Green to protest the university’s increasingly stringent security measures. The demonstration coincides with this weekend’s “Spring Fling,” a traditional party weekend at Penn where students de-stress to the tune of on-campus concerts and parties.

Since last year, the Penn Department of Public Safety (DPS) has partnered with the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE) to police underage drinking during on-campus parties. Tactics include undercover patrolling, where BLCE officers are given student IDs to infiltrate student spaces in order to monitor underage drinking. DPS and BLCE have announced that any student hosting parties where alcohol is served to minors “will be taken in handcuffs.”

Penn Students Fight for Their Right to Party »

Penn Invites Undercover Cops to Campus to Bust Students

Let’s say you’re a freshman Penn student. You worked hard in high school to get into an Ivy League school, or maybe your parents donated money for a building or whatever. Either way, you feel you’ve earned it. You and/or your parents are paying $58,812 for tuition, room and board your first year. And you’re struggling under your first-year course load and you don’t know how to handle being away from home for the first time. Maybe you don’t like your roommate.

But, ahh! The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and you finally feel like you have a handle on everything. And this weekend is Spring Fling! The annual party weekend is usually a three-day bender for most Penn kids, with a concert. This year it’s headlined by David Guetta. (My freshman year, the concert was Ben Harper — with, hilariously in retrospect, a pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas opening.) You’re excited to blow off some steam — and get plastered in what is essentially an event sanctioned by the University — before making one final push to the end of your first year. You’re almost there!

And now Penn — the school you’re paying 60 grand to — is inviting the cops to bust parties at Spring Fling. Not cool, man. Not cool.

Read more »

Philadelphians Drink A Lot of Vodka and Barefoot Wines

plcb 940

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board just released its 2012-13 Retail Year In Review report, which tallies up the wine and spirits sales throughout the state. Philadelphia is not the biggest purchaser by county. The heavy drinkers of Pittsburgh and the rest of Allegheny County have that distinction, with Philadelphia coming in at a close second, followed by Montgomery, Bucks and Chester counties, in that order. So as a region, we are crushing it.

Below, a look at some of the facts and figures from this year’s report. Read more »

Bring Your Own Vinyl For the Kids

Deva Watson, a server at Pub & Kitchen has recently been hired to teach art at a charter school in Southwest Philadelphia. Unfortunately her classroom needs some help, so Deva has signed on the sustainable company Greensaw Design and Build to create a new classroom pro bono. But after losing state funding for the initial costs, Deva has to find a new way to raise the money, all while working 80 hour weeks between teaching and serving to cover art supply costs.

Enter Pub & Kitchen owner Ed Hackett. He has offered to hold one of P&K’s Bring Your Own Vinyl nights with all proceeds benefitting the build of Deva’s classroom. For the fundraiser, which is on Monday, August 6th at 9 p.m , Sixpoint Brewery has been nice enough to donate a keg of P&K Pale Ale. Those beers will be $3 and Heaven Hill shots will be $5. So drink up, it’s for the kids!

In the meantime, check out Deva’s project and donate to her at http://www.indiegogo.com/mydivingbell.

Pub & Kitchen [Official Site]

Hey, Drunky! New “Hangover Patch” On The Market

What hangover remedy or preventative regimen do you swear by?  Do you blend 7/8’s of an organic banana with a drop of Amazonian rainwater, ground newt’s tail and pinch of ginkgo biloba? Do you watch The Notebook and cry all the alcohol out? Or do you grind up Advil and blow lines off your dog-eared copy of Bill W?

Whatever. Keep your voodoo magic. You know nothing actually cures a hangover other than time and more drinking (our preferred method, clearly). Don’t believe us? Mind then, the British Medical Journal’s finding that “No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to avoid drinking.”

Well, that last part sure is a buzz kill. Regardless, for every shyster with a million-dollar idea there are a million suckers who will pay him to try it. And because there’s a sucker getting drunk every minute, we give you Bytox.

Read more »