Pregaming at the root of campus drinking

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A recent university alcohol report says pregaming contributes to a dangerous drinking culture, but students view it as just another part of their social life.

Cindy Babington, vice president for student services, believes that hard alcohol is at the root of many alcohol related issues on campus.

“The hard alcohol use scares me,” Babington said. “I feel like that is what has changed over the past five years — the increased use of hard alcohol.”

However, students believe the contrary. Freshmen view pregaming as a social opportunity to congregate before going out and to gain some liquid courage.

“It puts me in the mood,” one freshman woman, who is under the legal drinking age and preferred to remain unnamed, said. “I’m an awkward person and a shot takes the edge off. It helps me relax and have a good time.”

Another freshman woman agreed. “I do it because it is a fun way to bond with people before going out and it lowers the level of awkwardness at frats.”

For most, pregaming is a simply another step in getting ready to go out on a Saturday night. Many freshmen wait to go out until the fraternities until later on in the night when the party is in full swing, but want to get the party started. Their solution to this problem is to begin their partying early on with pregaming activities.

“I pregame because it is a social activity and part of going out,” a freshman male said. “It makes everyone have a good time by loosening people up.”

Fraternity members, similarly to freshman, view pregaming as a social bonding activity.

“Guys in frats generally like to pregame because it gives them a chance to chill and hangout together before the party gets going at which point it’s their job to entertain guest,” a fraternity