Alcohol stereotypes don’t always ring true

The Collegian staff


There is a perception that student athletes get special treatment for alcohol violations.


The alcohol culture on campus dictates how students act and are perceived, including athletes.

It is a common stereotype to assume people in the Midwest drink more than other parts of the country. Many people say this is because there is nothing else to do in South Dakota. There is even a sense of pride in being able to drink a large amount.

But, what does this mean for South Dakota State University?

SDSU can be found on some lists of top party schools in the country. In some cases, students come to campus because they want to go to a party school for a “good” time.

Trying to tell students to stop drinking is impossible. It will cause them to drink more. Instead, university officials are trying to encourage safe drinking. Groups such as HEROH, Residential Life and Housing and Residence Hall Association are putting out programs to bring more awareness to students about alcohol and other substances. 

The problem is there are events hosted by the college and community that reinforce the drinking stereotype. 

Hobo Day is a celebration of school pride, but people also use it as an excuse to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Others partake in Pub Crawl where they start drinking in the early afternoon until the wee hours of the morning.

All students are affected by the issue of alcohol. Students want to drink and fit in with the rest of their peers, but there are consequences for underage drinking and reckless drinking including underage consumption, DUI, assault, sexual assault and other consequences.

Athletes are more visible in the SDSU alcohol culture than the majority of students. 

Student athletes are held to a higher standard because they are representatives of the university as well as receiving scholarships and other incentives. 

If athletes are caught with an alcohol violation, they are held to the standards of the student Code of Conduct, the Code of Conduct for athletes and rules mandated by their specific team. The individual violation may hinder the team as a whole rather than just one person. 

The general student body may think student athletes get special treatment because they are athletes. This is not entirely accurate. People who are influential to a team realize their importance and most of the time will be more discreet in their behaviors or not drink.

Some student athletes do live up to the stereotype of acting poorly and making bad decisions, but those individuals are limited.

In reality, student athletes are students as well as being athletes. Their behavior is the same as the general student body. 

Students, athletes or not, should practice safe behaviors when they are drinking and realize their choices in the present have consequences in the future.

The Collegian staff meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial.

The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.