It seems that the Lehigh University Women’s Center is taking an important stand, opening up a much-needed conversation about the pressures college-aged women sometimes feel surrounding alcohol, according to an article on the Lehigh Valley Live website.
A part of the university’s Women and Health Speakers & Events Series–and as a follow-up to the screening of the documentary Miss Representation, which addressed the pressures surrounding the ideal of successful women–the event focused on issues such as body image, the prominence of alcohol on campus, and why women are now choosing to consume hard liquor instead of beer.
Rita Jones, the Director of the Women’s Center, said the event was meant to offer a space for conversation, and that it did, as students and faculty in attendance spoke candidly about the pressures and effects of alcohol on women in Lehigh’s community.
Apparently, many women are opting to drink hard liquor because it has fewer calories, validating that body image and calorie counting are affecting women’s choices. Most students at the event agreed that the “loudest social voice on campus is often one advocating partying,” and that alcohol has become a “social crutch since ”there’s there is nothing to do at a party but drink.”
Some students suggested they’d like to see more non-alcohol activities on campus and explained that when libraries closes early, “it practically encourages students to go out and consume alcohol on the weekends.”
For student-athletes, those at the event said that their team’s longest meetings focused on discussions of dry policies, which determine the times athletes cannot consume alcohol before and after sporting events.
Kudos to Lehigh for bringing these issues about women and alcohol to light and offering students a chance to speak out. Let’s hope that other colleges and universities follow suit.