“We have had reports that some classes are allegedly being canceled because of St. Patrick’s Day…. This is a reminder that St. Patrick’s Day is not a university holiday, classes are expected to run, and students are expected to attend and be sober.”

This is the beginning of the e-mail that students woke up to on Thursday, March 17, better known as St. Patrick’s Day, 2011. It went on to warn students that if they attended class drunk, professors would be obligated to call campus security; if they missed class, students would not be able to make up any of the requirements from that day.

Although the e-mail was sent out by External Relations Coordinator Kevin Klein, it came directly from the university’s dean, Bruce Arai. Apparently, students cannot be trusted on a drinking “holiday” to go to class sober without some kind of warning.

As many of us know, binge drinking is defined as “the excessive consumption of alcohol,” which is about five or more drinks for men in a single sitting, and four or more for women.

According to a study by Joyce M. Wolburg from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students spend an average of $5.5 billion collectively on alcohol – more than they spend on books, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages combined.

Even more alarming is that more undergraduates are expected to die from alcohol-related causes this year than students are expected to receive their Master’s or Doctoral degrees combined. Also, 95 per cent of violent crimes and 80 per cent of vandalism on campuses are related to alcohol consumption.

Not all students were wasted on St. Patrick’s Day’s famous green beer. Lisa Beach, Jackie Stone and Jordan Tamblyn participated in a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt around Brantford, in addition to enjoying a couple of modest drinks.

But if drinking was your thing on St. Patty’s, you had many places to choose from around downtown Brantford. Many bars were open early, and had live music playing throughout the day. The party at Therapy Lounge was in full swing by 1:00 P.M., with their live music starting at noon. The Piston Broke had live music later in the day, but that didn’t stop people from starting to drink early in the afternoon. Hawk Team had an event running at Rodeo with $1 beers, and many students made an appearance at Club NV later in the evening.

There is no doubt that students took advantage of all the St. Patrick’s Day’s celebrations, but if you wanted to get drunk and party, you had to wait until after class.

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