EDITORIAL Halfway there


That’s the thought that’s crossed the mind of the average UM student for the past week (or, quite possibly, longer). It’s spring break! Woohoo! One week of partying, beach and sun! (Oh, wait – isn’t that how some of UM’s students spend their time anyway?)

Spring break is meant to be a nice period of relaxation before the stress of finals. At this point, students are expected to be exhausted and in desperate need of a change from the monotony of school and work. But if you think about it, we’ve just had class for seven weeks, and there will only be six weeks left of class when we come back from the break. Seven weeks isn’t exactly an extenuating period of time, and we’re all seemingly at the end of our ropes. What are we going to do when we get into the real world and only get three weeks of vacation the entire year?

Of course, some people use spring break productively, catching up on their credits by taking an intense Intersession class or fueling their soul by participating in Alternative Spring Break, volunteering across the country to help support all kinds of worthy causes.

However, the majority of students use the week off to party, drink, eat junk and have casual sex. Hello, STDs.

According to 1998 statistics published by the Journal of American College of Health, the average male drinks 18 drinks per day and the average female drinks 10 drinks per day during spring break. Fifty percent of men and 40 percent of women got sick or passed out from alcohol at least once during spring break. A 1997 poll found that 64 percent of college students have at least one random spring break hookup. Likewise, 47 percent said they didn’t use a condom once during spring break. Everyone seems to forget that alcohol can cause less intense orgasms, erectile dysfunction, loss of lubrication and an increased probability of sexual assault and rape.

So now it’s the we-sound-like-your-parents part of our spiel. How is this possible? We’re college students, part of the elite, educated portion of the population. We’ve had sex-ed since fifth grade, and our campus Wellness Center distributes free condoms once a week. There’s no excuse.

The fact that you are of legal age to drink outside the United States doesn’t justify getting wasted, smoking pot, driving at 100 m.p.h. and getting stopped by a police officer who will place you in a substandard prison for who knows how long.

Stay with a group. Hire a taxi. Wear sunscreen. Avoid dehydration by drinking non-alcoholic beverages. Wear a condom (yes, each condom can only be used once). Don’t leave your drink unattended. Beware of breaking the law, particularly in foreign countries.

Wouldn’t it be fun to come back and actually remember what you did so you can entertain your friends?

When we return from the break and people are tanned and relaxed, as well as itchy and hung over, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Oh and, by the way, that red bump on your lip? That’s not a zit. See you at the Health Center.