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Somewhat Sober for Now

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The good news made public last week is that Queens College ranks as one of the most sober colleges in the nation. The bad news is that this can be attributed in large part to the fact that, for now, there are no dorms at Queens College. That will soon change.

According to the Princeton Review, Queens College ranks 14th on the list of the 20 "most stone-cold sober" schools in the nation. The ranking is based on a survey of 120,000 college students across the nation. The results are intended to help high school students and their parents select a college.

There are good reasons to attend Queens College, including cost, convenience and excellent academics.

But student sobriety? We have doubts.

We suspect Queens College students do their fair share of drinking. But because there are no dormitories and a limited campus social life outside the classroom, drinking on campus is not a problem at the college.

Hopefully, that will remain the case after the new dormitory opens, but that is a big hope. On most campuses, alcohol abuse is a serious problem. Each year, about 1,700 college students between 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries. An estimated 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape and 110,000 are arrested for alcohol-related incidents.

Shockingly, more than 2 million college students admit to driving while under the influence of alcohol and, according to the Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences report, 25 percent of all college students admit that drinking has directly affected their academic performance. Drinking at most American colleges is a problem.

Students away from home for the first time easily get caught up in the drinking, beer-pong culture. It is more difficult to assess the drinking habits of the commuter students at Queens College. No doubt they like to party as much as other students their age, but the opportunities are limited compared to those who live in dorms.

The Queens College administration is aware of the college drinking problem nationwide and has given its assurances that there will be security both at the entrance to the campus and dormitory.

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