It's back-to-school time. That's why The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday ran a front-page feature on the entrepreneurial explosion related to the drinking game Beer Pong. And that's why The Capital Times on the same day ran a lead story with the subhead "Detox center gets ready as students return." And that's why our cover story this week catalogs the rigors of staying sober on the UW campus.
Yes, it's universally recognized these days that the big sport on campus is drinking. We're not just talking about the UW here, though, rightly or not, it has acquired the reputation of being the BCS favorite in the Division 1 of college guzzling. The Harvard School of Public Health has been conducting studies documenting college drinking behavior, and it certifies a national trend. (The aforementioned Beer Pong entrepreneurs are all recently out of college, indicating that the college drinking rites are following the alumni into the population at large.)
In "Drier Education," contributor Mary Ellen Gabriel recounts the trials of those students who are bucking the trend at the UW. "Drinking is the norm in college," according to the story. And the vast majority of it is done illegally. Of course, "illegal" in this context is highly arbitrary, considering that back when the beer drinking age was 18, hardly anybody was "illegal." Whether overconsumption was as a big a problem back then, well, that's another story.
We do have another article this week for the campus-oriented, but this one relates to food rather than drink. Linda Falkenstein extends her cheap eats franchise from the columns of The Daily Page, Isthmus' website, into the pages of the mother-pub itself. (This week online she discovers tempting curry hidden in plain sight on Willy Street.)
Though not intended for student types only, Kenneth Burns has some illustrated orientation material in his quarterly nightlife roundup. Tom Laskin follows up with a look at some of the touring musical acts that will be gracing local stages throughout the fall.
For the old-timers: Aren't you glad we get to review the program every fall? And you newcomers: We've pointed you in the right direction; it's up to you to find your fun. And drink responsibly.