The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The freshmen complex

Last weekend, during homecoming a freshman who lives in my dorm received a ticket for underage drinking. On several previous occasions, he bragged about how he would never get caught by the police.

Well, he got caught. Instead of learning his lesson from what I have been told is a $400 ticket, he apparently plans to frame it and show it off to anyone who cares enough to listen to his glorious tales of drunken debauchery.
That’s right, he’s proud of it.

Another freshman who was talking about the incident during one of my shifts at the front desk said “everyone has to get an underage ticket” at some point during their college career.

I wish I could say I was making this up, but I can’t. This is actually happening on our campus. We’re being overrun by an endless legion of drunken bros. If this trend continues, they’ll take over the university by 2014.

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Look, I don’t mean to single out the entire freshman class, and I understand that freshmen aren’t the only ones who feel the urge to get absolutely smashed four times a week, but the behavior I have been observing by a significant portion of this year’s newbies is making the rest of you look bad by association.

It is literally beyond my mental capacity to understand what compels anyone to drink until they’ve reached the intersection of stupor and unconsciousness. That is why I am focusing on the freshmen here, because if anyone shouldn’t be drinking until they can no longer feel, it’s
the freshmen class.

The first year of college is supposed to be an adjustment period. For many freshmen, past and present alike, it’s their first time living away from home. In my case, it’s a three-hour drive from Green Bay to academia. Developing social skills is extremely important here, as it is anywhere else, but frequent and excessive drinking while being three years away from legal drinking age is ill-advised at best, and reckless at worst.

National statistics from indicate 25 percent of college students admitted to having problems with their academics that are directly caused by alcohol. From the same source, 11 percent of students have admitted to vandalizing property as a result of alcohol consumption (which may explain the outbreak of male genitalia drawings popping up all over the dorm).

The statistics regarding unsafe sex, intoxicated assault and battery, and alcohol dependency are much more serious than the aforementioned stats. Please educate yourselves before having another beer.

Here’s an idea straight out of the Judicial Council’s playbook: If you choose to go to a party, don’t take a single drink. Instead, converse with others, observe their behavior, and write about it. That should give you a pretty good indication of how foolish you look when you stammer your way through the front doors of the dorm at 2 a.m.

If that doesn’t work for you, read a book or watch a movie with some friends. You might even be able to find a job in town and make some of the money that you wasted on booze that you illegally acquired from some stooge who wanted to make a few quick bucks by supplying a group of freshmen with some nasty light beer that tastes like raw sewage.

And if you don’t like any of those suggestions, I will gladly tell you, in the most sarcastic tone I can possibly muster at the time, to deal with it. It’s not my fault, or, for that matter, anyone else’s, if you get absolutely wasted, flame out from your courses, and end up leaving the university.

That’s right: You are in control of your own actions, and alcohol does not give you
reason to deny any acts of stupidity committed by you.


Kris Kotlarik is a senior social studies education and print journalism double major and Staff Writer at The Spectator. 

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The freshmen complex