Proponents of a “Pub in the SUB” ignore the obvious alcohol problems that Montana has as a state. I grew up in Montana and have experienced firsthand the damages that alcohol can do to a person’s physiology, psychology, relationships and career.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 82,000 Montanans have an alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse problem. That is roughly 8 percent of our population.
Even more shocking, the same survey showed that 209,000 Montanans — 20 percent of the population — engage in binge drinking (defined as five or more servings of alcohol in two hours) once a month. It seems many Montanans are not interested in just having one beer or one glass of wine.
In college, binge drinking is not only seen as acceptable, but normal. We are unfazed by our peers’ stories of drinking to the point of blacking out or becoming physically ill after a party. If anything, we expect it.
Some proponents of the measure advocate limiting alcohol consumption in the SUB Pub if it were built. But there are some complications to that model. With the amount of traffic in the SUB on a daily basis, how are bartenders supposed to keep track of who drinks what? Could a person go in and drink three pints, then leave and come back a half hour later and drink three more?
I don’t have a problem with drinking. In a state where there is not much to do, I understand that drinking is part of the nightlife and social scene. But knowing that students regularly drink to the point of inebriation makes me wonder how a “SUB Pub” could work at all.
Colleges exist for academic purposes and should be focused on activities that encourage students to succeed in their studies. Having a pub on the MSU campus, even if no hard liquor is served, would not further the school’s academic merit nor serve any purpose except to give students one more unnecessary excuse to drink.