CON: Students abuse TEMS services

Brandi Doyal, Views Editor

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The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Again and again, students recite what seems to be the average Tulane student’s motto, “work hard, play hard.” This motto is a tangible representation of Tulane’s binge drinking culture and how prevalent it has become on campus. Because drinking is a social norm where we live, many students feel the need to participate in the constantly thriving bar life without keeping their own safety in mind.

Niche.com ranked Tulane the No. 1 party school for 2015. Attending college in a city like New Orleans, famed for its drinking culture, adds unnecessary emphasis to binge drinking, which is already prevalent on college campuses today.

Many students have attended what now seem like mundane events such as happy hour and fifty-cent shot night. There is pressure to continue drinking after one or even three drinks. Many students don’t even consider the consequences seven shots in one night may have on their body until it’s too late. Sometimes our community is so wrapped up in having a good time that we forego thinking about our own safety and the safety of our peers. 

Tulane Emergency Medical Services provides students with medical amnesty and free transport to the hospital, which inadvertently affects student attitudes toward drinking dangerously. Too often, students only notice a problem once it has become severe enough to call TEMS because they focus on having a good time in lieu of drinking cautiously.

TEMS Director Peter Haskins said 10 percent of TEMS calls are solely related to alcohol poisoning with no other medical complaints such as an injury. This statistic leaves much to be desired when discussing the relationship between drinking activity and TEMS. Alcohol consumption can lead to medical issues besides alcohol poisoning such as physical injuries. Thus, it is unclear how often students have called TEMS over all alcohol related situations. 

Jon Barnwell, superintendent of Tulane University Police Department, said students deserve to enjoy themselves but should recognize drinking can be done safely. In this culture of binge drinking, too many students brag about being blackout drunk. While wanting to have fun is understandable, losing track of the number of drinks you’ve consumed throughout the night from the various drinking games, bars and events, such as tailgating and fraternity parties, is irresponsible and dangerous.

The culture of drinking until dropping must change at Tulane for student safety and to prevent misuse of TEMS. The medical service was not originally founded to be the safety net behind student binge drinking.

Someone has to say stop. As students, it is our responsibility to change the detrimental binge drinking culture at Tulane by being the one to drink water or by telling our friends that they’ve had enough instead of encouraging them to drink themselves into a hospital bed.

Brandi Doyal is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]