April 13, 2010

Students rebel.

At the University of Wisconsin at Stout.


AllenS said...

Let's remember, these students also vote.

MadisonMan said...

The students should wait. There will plenty of drinks served at the UW Stout Alumni events.

Ann Althouse said...

Stout is a drink.

Anonymous said...

One thing that would help is to bring the drinking age back down to 18. Drinking at bars is a lot safer than drinking at off-campus parties. There are limits at bars. No bartender is going to let a kid go through 20 beers in an evening. There won't be drugs passed around to make the alcohol deadly.

TMink said...

The only program that would help this situation is one which teaches people how to drink.

Currently, kids learn to drink from other kids who do not know how to drink. So they binge, puke, hangover, and repeat.

This is what happens when the blind lead the blind. The school should have MANDATORY drinking and alcohol education classes where alcohol is of course served and getting drunk twice fails the class.

Then you would have to take it again, but DRY!!!!!!


TosaGuy said...

Easy solution. Close UW-Stout.

It's need needed with UW-River Falls (East Twin Cities State) 30 minutes in one direction and UW-Eau Claire 30 minutes in the other. You also have UW-Barron County (2-year) to the north. Take its few unique programs (hospitality majors) and move them to EC or RF.

The lower level UW system is too big to the point that it cannot inspire excellence. If the excuse is that not every place can be a UW-Madison and the state needs "practical" colleges across the state, then you just made an argument for consolidating 2-yr colleges, tech colleges and schools like UW-Stout into one system.

I would also dump UW-Whitewater and UW-Oshkosh.

We have consolidated military bases, schools, church congregations, fire/police depts....it's time to do it to the university system.

Anonymous said...

But some students are worried that by focusing on stricter enforcement of a federal age threshold that is considered pliable by the local zeitgeist [...]

"Local zeitgeist"? Isn't that oxymoronic?

Anonymous said...

How about if the Chancellor instead insisted on implementing tougher academic standards? One reason kids spend so much of their time partying is that it is possible to do so with no consequences to their academic standing. They can pass their courses with minimal effort, and that makes the real focus of their life the other aspects of the college experience.

traditionalguy said...

These kids are amateurs out getting themselves plastered on beer. The new antidepressant taken from peoyte mushrooms will make them behave and be happy. A true miracle from Pharma.

TosaGuy said...

GP also hits the nail on the head.

Raising standards would also mean fewer students...thus less of a reason for UW-Stout.

GMay said...

Come on, teaching kids how to drink? They're drinking so they can get piss drunk and have awesome drunk stories and work on their beer can pyramids.

They may put forth minimal academic effort, but they're not stupid. They know the effects of alcohol.

Largo said...

"Local zeitgeist"? Isn't that oxymoronic?


Not at all, unless the claim is that the zeitgeist is restricted to to it's local manifestation.

Although a zeitgeist must be somewhat broadly manifest if to reasonably be considered a spirit of the age (rather than the spirit of John Smith down the road), it need not be hegemoneous outside of its local manifestations.

So you can have cultures and counter-cultures in the same city, each following a different zeitgeist. Within some local community (city, neighbourhood, campus, what have you), a particular zeitgeist may prevail. It makes sense in such circumstances to speak of the "local zeitgeist".

David said...

"They may put forth minimal academic effort, but they're not stupid. They know the effects of alcohol."

Exactly--how smart do you have to be to know what gets you drunk. They are trying to get drunk. That's the point.

A minor bravo for the chancellor, but it's pretty much just words. They should define the violations (underage drinking, public drunkenness) and then:

First violation--semester suspension.

Second violation--year suspension.

Third violation--never return.

That will weed them out. In fact that will keep the drunks from applying in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Giant Peach (BTW, great point about academic standards), instead of lowering the drinking age to 18, why not make drinking (and other privileges associated with adulthood) contigent on graduating high school?

You could put some limits in place, i.e., must be at least, say 16, to get the benefits, and if you don't graduate by, say, 21 or 22, you age into them, but otherwise, it would solve the problem of high schoolers having these privileges (and sharing them with younger students), and it would provide a subtle incentive to finish school.

Tying it to some accomplishment always seemed to make more sense to me than just a somewhat arbitrary age.
- Lyssa

former law student said...

Binge drinking is what's lethal. Historically Wisconsin's German heritage meant kids learned to drink responsibly from and with their parents. The President should organize social events where he presides over the beer kegs, to promote and model responsible drinking.

But I had a hard time imagining student rebellion at Stout State, where a buddy's wife got her Home Ec degree, in the 70s. She was an excellent mother, as well as a good cook and household manager, so I say bravo Stout State.

Unknown said...

Every once in a while, I get the impression there's a real shift in the way the country is going.

Women built like women are again fashionable.

We're actually winning a war.

People are sick of pie-in-the-sky Leftism and the attendant fiscal profligacy.

Now, a university official acting like a real adult.

Granted, GP's idea of higher standards might help, too (if it's like Haavahd, getting the troops back to work would be a step forward), but somewhere there has to be a willingness to draw the line. I haven't seen anything like this since I was an undergrad.

Whoda thunk?

former law student said...

Now, a university official acting like a real adult.

Yeah, Dean Vernon Wormer.

You can't change a culture by fiat -- a real adult would know how to lead people, not attempt to push them.

TMink said...

Gmay wrote: "They know the effects of alcohol."

And I know a map of China but I could not get you across Bejing. You are confusing the map with the territory.

People who are taught how to drink do not binge drink nearly as much as people who think binging is the correct way to use alcohol. Binge drinking is abuse, it is not use.


Titus said...

I did a guy from UW Stout once.

He was a Hotel and Restaurant Management student. I didn't even know you needed a degree for that but he told me that UW Stout was one of the best in the country.

We did it in his dorm.

We went to the Country Kitchen for breaky the next morning. I had something called a country scrambler-I think.
Thank you.

Titus said...

Or maybe we went to Embers.

Are Embers still in Wisconsin?

I loved Embers.

Unknown said...

former law student said...

Now, a university official acting like a real adult.

Yeah, Dean Vernon Wormer.

You can't change a culture by fiat -- a real adult would know how to lead people, not attempt to push them.

I said a real adult, not a fictional character.

I love how the Lefties always fall back on, "You can legislate morality!!", until they want everybody to march in their lockstep and then, kell sir prize, discover you can.

Anonymous said...

Lately, I have been reading an online diary of a UWM student. This kid was exposed to parties with heavy drinking pretty much from his first day on campus, and initially he was repelled by the behavior that was going on around him. This was something he wanted no part of. He didn't come to school to get wasted every night.

By sophomore year, he is getting drunk most nights. He writes with pride and amusement about how many beers he drinks and tries to beat his record (somewhere in the fifth six-pack). A lot of entries are accounts of what he was told he did the previous night, because he was too drunk to remember on his own what went on.

There's a lot of peer pressure. There's a whole culture of drinking going on that kids get sucked into.

And my young diarist even expresses the opinion that this is the purpose of college. He figures that his only years of freedom are going to be the years he spends in college. Before that, he's limited by having to co-exist with his parents. After college, he imagines holding a responsible job that is going to constrict his life style. So he has four years to drink beer and eat pizza, and he might as well make the most of it.

So I guess the chancellor really is staring down the zeitgeist, which I don't think is at all localized. The task is to change attitudes not just toward drinking, but toward the purpose of education and the meaning of freedom.

GMay said...

TMink: "People who are taught how to drink do not binge drink nearly as much as people who think binging is the correct way to use alcohol. Binge drinking is abuse, it is not use.

Riiiight. Thanks for the unneeded refresher on what binge drinking is. You go ahead and keep thinking it's some sort of Alcohol-Awareness-Month-sort-of issue where a few power point lecutres and pamphlets are going to change a deeply ingrained culture of kids who just want to get wasted.

Phil 314 said...

Since Wisconsin is culturally permissive as far as alcohol use

You must now speak for Wisconsin...
Is this so?

Calypso Facto said...

TosaGuy said: The lower level UW system is too big to the point that it cannot inspire excellence.

Time to get the beer goggles off, big fella. Or maybe it's a tint of south-state parochialism? UW Stout was the first university in the country to win the Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award for "achieving excellence in higher education". Would that UW of Milwaukee could pull off such a feat. The mid-sized schools you reference can provide a fantastic education at a reasonable price. And great keggers to boot!

TosaGuy said...


Not a cheesehead and got my BA at a medium-sized, non-WI state school.

My position on university education is indeed far more nuanced than what can be put in a blog rant. I've spent considerable time in Menomonie/EC/RF region and know plenty of folks who went to these schools. Such schools have a place but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that they are producing a generation of Einsteins. The same goal of having an accessible public university in that region of the state can be achieved by consolidation of geographic accidents. I would also like to see the money pit that is UW-Milwaukee cut back to a managable size....right now its hellbent on expanding into every empty parcel in Milwaukee County.

I would also like to see all two-year campuses closed if they are near a tech college. The programs and classes of the JUCOs and Techs can be merged into one facility with one administration -- students can split their education between academic and trades which will make them more marketable. MN partially did this years ago. Point: There is efficiency that can be found in the system that will enhance education for the student.

I believe the concept of traditional 4-year academic degree for everyone is going to be a dinosaur. The salary payoff vs. the debt racked up in its pursuit will be a poor option for many people. The hybrid program with skill-oriented tech programs that also bring in some of the critical thinking skills of academia will be a much better and cheaper educational option for many who currently pursue a BS in beer drinking.

Triangle Man said...

You must now speak for Wisconsin...
Is this so?

Wisconsin permits minors to drink alcohol (even in bars and restaurants) if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. QED.

TosaGuy said...

Data I would like to know about the UW education system vs. tech colleges is how many graduates of each stay in Wisconsin. I remember something from a few years ago that Wisconsin is a net exporter of those with college degrees. Conversely, I have also seen anecdotes of companies screaming qualified people in the skilled trades or programs taught at a tech college. At what point do we as a state adjust our public college/techs school base to match the state's employment needs?

Again, I would like to see a hard data study on both of these suppositions.