Tech parties just as much as others

If you live in a dorm or pay attention in the University Center, I’m sure you’ve seen a plethora of posters with statics that say things like, “50% of Tech students prefer alcohol-free parties” or “In the past two weeks, 75% of Tech students had four or fewer drinks.”I realize Tech wants to look good, especially with tours groups coming in but really I question these statistics. This is a college campus. People drink-even in the Bible-belt.

I’m not implying that drinking should be acceptable on campus, but I know more students here that do partake in alcohol than students who don’t.

According to the posters, this survey is from 2007 and was done with 925 students. Why is it that these posters were only put out this semester? It is 2010, and a number of the people who participated may have already graduated.

I decided to conduct my own small anonymous survey of Tech students. I printed 50 surveys and gave them to R.A.s, international students, people in my classes, and members of Greek organizations. Most of the participants were people I didn’t know.

The survey consisted of questions that pertained to drinking and were worded as closely to the poster as possible. I realize that because I could only survey 50 people, my results are not as accurate as a survey of 1,000 students, but my statistics are more recent than the ones from 2007 plastered all over the residential halls.

Most of the results actually surprised me. I surveyed 15 freshmen, 13 sophomores, 8 juniors, and 11 seniors (3 chose not to specify).

Sixty-two percent of the students I asked said they had missed a class due to a hangover, and 32% admit to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

I asked participants if they preferred alcohol-free parties to parties with alcohol and found that 52% preferred parties with alcohol, 28% had no preference, and only 20% preferred alcohol-free shindigs.

The survey also included a question about how many drinks the participant had in the last week. Surprisingly, 44% said they had none. 2% chose not to respond, 6% had 1-2 drinks, 14% had 3-5 drinks, 14% had 6-9 drinks, and 20% had 10 or more in the last week.

I have decided that, on average, Tech students probably drink as much as students on other college campuses. Despite the fact that my survey pointed to more drinking than the Tech posters statistics boast, most Tech students agree that Tech students probably drink less than students at other colleges. Only 10% of participants think Tech students drink more than students on other campuses, 2% chose not to respond, 38% think Tech students drink less, and 28% think it is probably the same amount.

Just because Tech doesn’t carry the same reputation for partying like UTK or MTSU, it doesn’t mean that most students don’t party. A lot of the surveys came back with comments like, “What else is there to do in Cookeville?”

You may not agree with me, but I think Tech parties as much as any other school. We have fewer students than other big schools in Tennessee, but I think that the same percentage of people party here as on any other college campus.