This school year, 19 DePauw University students were hospitalized because of alcohol poisoning. Colleges nationwide are struggling to create a campus balance that allows young adults, often away from home for the first time, learn their limits while keeping them safe.

DePauw is at the center of this issue.

American colleges and alcohol have an undeniable connection to the social life of university life. However, the amount of drinking that actually occurs and whether it is a problem or merely a rite of passage is a point of controversy. Despite a drinking age set at 21, the age of most college seniors, roughly 32 percent of college students reported that they regularly binge drink. In 2016, that average at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, was 65 percent. Since 2016, the number has decreased only slightly with over half of the student population reporting binge drinking.

As part of the Solutions Journalism class led by Pulliam Prof. Deborah Douglas, eight DePauw University students talked with peers, university administrators and alcohol experts to find what solutions are being pursued to solve the perennial campus drinking problem that vexes college campuses.

Our project is called Learning the Limits.

Produced by:
Ian Brundige, Robert Connor, Reid Cooper, Brooks Hepp, Kantaro Komiya, Jeremy Konzen, Maddy McTigue and Collin Tate

“I kind of thought that once you get into college, people get more responsible with their drinking. But that was not the case.”

“I had one thought running through my mind: This was where I was gonna die.”

“It’s more important to be clear and to be consistent rather than to be severe.”

A For Effort

confronting the Campus Drinking Crisis

Arrested Development

Science and consequences of drinking

Cultural Differences

Some students ask: What’s the big deal about drinking?

‘Founding Fathers’

taking a chance on change