49.5 F

Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Letter to the editor: GREG HIRSON

Dear Editor,

I often plan to write to you about the content in The Aggie but until today have not followed through. After shaking my head for a few seconds, I continue on with my day, usually by 5 p.m. forgetting what piqued my interest earlier in the day. It is 10:30 p.m. now and two hours after seeing the front page of today’s newspaper, I am compelled to sit down and write.

Two articles appeared above the fold on Tuesday relating to alcohol. “Governor signs DUI legislation” was an interesting and informative article outlining steps that the state is taking to protect the public from drivers previously convicted of DUIs. It was placed directly adjacent is your article entitled “Recipe for a party,” outlining how to maximize alcohol consumption on a budget. Putting these articles next to each other is tasteless and contradictory, but I can forgive that error in judgment. What compelled me to write to you today are the internal inconsistencies of the latter article.

You include an obligatory disclaimer to avoid potential litigation. Better safe than sorry! While necessary from a legal perspective, its inclusion comes off as disingenuous, especially since the remainder of the article advocates irresponsible drinking.

Environmental impacts: Juxtaposing the deleterious environmental impact of red cups with a tip on where they can be purchased in bulk as inexpensively as possible pays lip service to the problem. Had you compared prices on where to purchase the biodegradable, recyclable cups that you suggested as an alternative to red cups, you would have at least been consistent in your message.

Binge drinking: A 2001 Harvard study of drinking patterns of college students found that 43 percent of all people surveyed were binge drinkers. That percentage is not among those who drink at parties – among all students. Your quote as to the number of students who drink at parties at UC Davis is a gross misrepresentation of the results, which states “43 percent of UC Davis students reported not drinking in the past 30 days.”

You then go on to suggest a few drinking games that can be played as an alternative to beer pong. First, the sole purpose of a drinking game is to promote speedy alcohol consumption. Second, to suggest Seven, Eleven or Doubles as a drinking game in the same article where you warn against binge drinking is ludicrous. Seven, Eleven or Doubles has one purpose: to get drunk as fast as possible. The probability of rolling a seven, 11, or doubles is 37.5 percent on each roll. After six rolls, there is a 94 percent chance that seven, 11, or doubles will have been rolled. Rolling two dice six times is fast compared to drinking a pint/cup of beer. Again, the sole purpose of this game is to promote binge drinking.

Half-hearted disclaimer. Faux environmentalism. Two-faced discussion of binge drinking including erroneous reporting of statistics. Besides appearing on the same page as articles on DUI prevention and healthy lifestyles, the author and you, the editor, continue to promote binge drinking out of one side of your mouth while extolling the virtues of moderation out of other. I have no problem with social alcohol consumption, but by including this type of article in the paper, it is no wonder binge drinking is still such a problem on so many college campuses.


Graduate student

Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry


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