During a football tailgate, Dr. Carlos Vargas, President of Southeast Missouri State University, was recorded drinking beer from a beer bong. The video went viral online and has sparked a debate about binge drinking on college campuses, both during football tailgates and throughout typical college life.
According to Fox 43, the incident prompted an apology from Dr. Vargas, promising that he would not indulge in such behavior again. Plenty of students, however, have come out in support of their president, saying that he’s having fun, engaging with the student body, and even that he’s a great president.
Here is part of the statement from President Vargas:
“Dear Colleagues and Students, During my attendance at a tailgate prior to the Southeast football game on September 15, I was observed being offered and accepting to drink beer from a beer bong, a device normally associated with excessive or binge drinking, which is conduct I do not condone… I made a poor decision, and, for my action, I apologize to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Southeast Missouri State University, an institution of which I am tremendously proud.”
About 18% of men over the age of 18 have had five or more drinks in a single day at least once over the past year — and statistics across college campuses are even higher.
According to a survey — Monitoring the Future, by the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan — published in July, 79.1% of college students reported drinking alcohol during 2017. Students had a stronger occurrence of binge drinking at 33%, compared to peers who were not in college (28%). Additionally, more college students reported being drunk over the month of September (35%) compared to non-college students (30%).
Across college campuses, especially during football games, students pride themselves on their ability to drink and even outdrink one another. This can lead to serious health concerns down the road.