The first weeks of school are a very important time at any university, so it is not unusual to find an increase of alcohol-related incidents, said Dr. Sparkle Greenhaw, the director of the university's Drug and Alcohol Education center.
As of Sept. 4, there have been two reported occurrences of public intoxication involving students since the academic year started less than a month ago, according to the TCU police department.
Although there have been very few reported cases so far, Greenhaw said she wants the Alcohol and Drug Education Center to be highlighted as somewhere students can go to get informed and not punished.
“Because Campus Life refers students to us when they get alcohol violations, students tend to think of the Alcohol and Drug Education Center as a bad place where you go for punishment and that’s just not the case,” she said.
In fact, a big part of the Alcohol and Drug Education Center’s role on campus is promoting alcohol awareness and dependency prevention, Greenhaw said.
“Prevention includes the programs that we do in residence halls, in classrooms, all campus events that we are a part of and then also our peer education group, Frogs Care,” she said.
Some of the peer educators, like junior communication studies major Khia Adams, said they have experienced unfortunate encounters with alcohol themselves.
“I turned into a cat once,” Adams said. “I was just prowling around, snuggling up to people and doing weird things like that. They took pictures of me that I don’t remember happening, and a lot of questionable things happened when I was under the influence, a lot of things that I’m definitely not proud of.”
Despite Adams’ bad experience during her freshman year, she said she thinks the decision to drink or not is a personal preference for first-year students.
“It’s your choice to drink, whether you’re legal or not," she said. "I would suggest not doing it, but ultimately it’s your choice. No one can really make you drink anything.”
First-year students who may not have yet experienced an episode similar to that of Adams may have a different opinion about alcohol consumption.
“[Drinking] is going to happen regardless of what we do to stop it,” first-year speech pathology major Mackenzie Bush said. “It’s inevitable, but I feel like there’s a way we should be able to control it.”
Although some students, like Bush, believe drinking is a social activity embedded into collegiate culture, Greenhaw presents a suggestion to be considered by TCU students.
“I would recommend people consider not drinking. That is actually an option for college students," she said.