Quad Up! Binge Drinking Across the Quads

By Lauren Somers

One of the most interesting topics that we explore on 127, in my opinion, is binge drinking on campus. In previous posts, we have covered the racial discrepancies in binge drinking as well as the perception of binge drinking rates on campus. We also covered Greek-affiliated binge drinking and how this affects women. What’s left? Drinking by quad.

When we go off to college, we are finally given the freedom from our parents to make all the good and bad decisions we want. I remember my first day at Denison and the excitement I had for my first Sunnies party where I could stay up all night and sweat in a ten by ten room with thirty strangers. I also remember watching a lot of drunk freshman stumble into the Sunnies after binge drinking for several hours.

While this sight is amusing at first, it is even more interesting to watch everyone leave after the clock strikes one in the morning to go back to their dorms to pass out. You can see huge flocks of freshman walk toward Shorney as Sophomores heard to East. The Seniors watch from their stoops at the Sunnies as a bunch of Juniors head to Mohutch on North.

But this makes me wonder, which quads have the students who binge drink the most? Do the Freshman and Seniors on West quad out-drink the Juniors and Sophomores on East or are the North quad residents the true drinking champions? Only one way to know: ask them.

This past February we at 127 collected data on a bunch of different hot topics on campus and we got some info on the binge drinking behavior and perceptions of binge drinking on campus. About a quarter of the school replied to our plea for answers through this short survey which asked about personality traits, gender norms, and administrative proposals like parking and the shift to professional head residents. This survey offered a good representation of campus in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and other identity categories. It is through the residential lense, however, that I want to explore drinking culture.

Looking at the figure below we can see that West quad does indeed triumph over the other three, but whoever lives on “other quad” takes the cake. North comes shortly behind West then South and East in last. This is expected for west quad seeing that both Freshman and Seniors make up the majority but it is interesting to see higher concentrations of binge drinking on North and South quad than on East. I say this because we expect that the drinking culture will be ridden with peer pressure and nostalgia for the Freshman stomach on West quad but we also assume that the Sophomores and Juniors on East would contribute to this culture in larger sums. Note that there is not a majority of any quad (but “other”) that binge drinks.

Not only do West quaders binge drink more often but they also drink more drinks on average. We can see in the next figure that people on West quad list a larger number of drinks as binge drinking — about one more drink on average than South and East quad and two more than East. This is a pretty small difference but also increases the amount of drinks that are being consumed on average.

Can we give this victory on West to the Freshman or the Seniors? Let’s be honest, it’s not the Freshman holding that flag but we should give them a round of applause anyway. As for the other quads, I expect that the distance from East quad to the Sunnies, where most binge drinking occurs, may have something to do with their low results. That ten minute walk was often the make it or break it for my weekend out and I suspect I am not the only one.

Lauren Somers is a wannabe fitness guru who loves shows about murder and vampire slayers. When she is not huddled in her room napping she can be found in the Knapp lab analyzing endless data and eating pita chips.

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