Drinking and partying may be part and parcel of college and university life (for some) but one university in China has chosen to ban consumption altogether – both on and off-campus.
The ban by Xi’an Fanyi University effectively prohibits students and faculty alike from drinking alcohol throughout their stint at the school. Failure to comply will result in a formal warning or expulsion, a video on Chinese video-streaming platform Pear Video says, according to local media reports.
Additionally, those who drink and fight “will be excluded from receiving any form of scholarship or student grant”, a CGTN report said.
The report said the video on the ban went viral last week, triggering heated debate on the university’s decision.
Qiu Jie, the head of the university’s publicity department, said the regulation was rolled out in 2016.
While banning alcohol both on and off campus might seem drastic to some, a handful of American institutions have already implemented a similar ban on campus.
According to CNN, Stanford University has banned hard liquor (20 percent alcohol by volume, ABV) at on-campus parties, but students can still drink beer and wine.
More US institutions will do the same next year, following the North American Interfraternity Conference’s (NIC) vote to ban hard liquor (alcohol products above 15 percent ABV unless sold by a licensed third-party vendor) across their 6,100-plus strong chapters across 800 campuses in September 2019.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, annually, alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the US.
The researchers estimate that each year, “696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking; 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape; and 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.”
However, whether or not banning alcohol on campus is an effective way for universities to protect students from the dire consequences of alcohol misuse – from sexual assaults to injuries and deaths – remains to be seen.
Critics argue that research on the effectiveness of such bans is limited, while banning alcohol could drive drinking further underground.