Alcoholism la held its first meeting last night in Sever Hall.
The University Extension Course, given for the first time this year, played to a mixed audience of both wets and drys. It tries to teach them that "benders, binges, and buts" are a disease, and as a disease are subject to treatment, encouragement, and cure.
"We thought that there was enough interest in Alcoholism to give a course in it," explains John R. McGrail, Massachusetts supervisor of university extension classes.
"We had bad many requests for such a course on our program, which can cover 500 topics, from slip covers to steam fitting. Until now, we didn't know enough about alcoholism to teach it.
The class will meet every Tuesday--just two days after each football weekend. It counts toward an academic degree; World War II veterans are admitted free.
Charles W. Gaughan, executive secretary of the State alcoholism commission, explains that the objective of the class is "both economic and social," to aid family and business and to give educators, social workers and probation officers a knowledge of the disease.
"The course is neither for wets nor drys," he adds. "Obviously, if you don't drink, you don't become alcoholic. But 60 percent of adults are social drinkers, a Gallup poll shows. The public needs to know that one man's drink is another's poison.
"Alcoholism is an Illinois; there are signs that can he detected and a physician consulted--early."
Gaughan stressed that the disease is not the exclusive scourge of Skid Row, "but brings grief and misery to all social strain," He explained that the course was intended for adults, and cannot be taken for credit by student.