IMAGE:  October 2002 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
Volume 95, Issue 1
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Morning and melancholia 
Geeks go Greek 
End of the Medical Marathon?
The worst of all possible worlds 

3 rms, future vu


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GRAPHIC:  Also in every issueLetters
"…so one-sided it falls off my bookshelf."

Drinking vs. alcoholism
You gotta be kidding me. As one friend put it, "Duh! That's university." "I'll drink to that," the other replies. Drinking at the U of C is really no different than anywhere else. When I entered the University in 1995 there was much talk about a report that students at Chicago drank more on average than anywhere else. Trips to other colleges and universities sometimes seem to corroborate this, but that is mostly because I used to drink more than my fair share. A lot of us did. Now living next to the largest university in the country (with the largest Greek system), there is less trouble made about drinking than I ever heard at the U of C. This makes me think that Zane Spiegel's letter ("Letters," August/02) is another case of classic Chicago whining that is so rampant on campus (and beyond).

The problem is less about alcoholism than it is about responsibility, which is more often absent in the way our culture takes to drinking than in other countries (at least in my experience). What good would a report do? Want to help? Start thinking of interesting alternatives to events involving drinking for fun and relaxation in the land of ice and snow; a report will not reduce alcoholism, I'm sorry to report. The counselors on campus suck, the weather is terrible, classes are intense at times, and everyone, at some point, needs a drink. Besides, everyone would lie when asked about drinking; everyone lies when it comes to studies-I learned that in sociology; and besides, most problem drinkers don't think they have a problem or will not admit to it. But if you ever do a report about alcohol on campus, I will gladly provide some delightful photos.

Ismael R. Archbold, AB'99
Austin, Texas

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