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Thesis Uncovers Guzzling Habits of College, Finds 13.5 Percent of Students Big Boozers

One Half of Athletes Polled Break Training to Drink During Season

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

With the sharp chill of winter in the air, and armchair quarterbacks loudly waging a post-season de-emphasis battle among themselves, Harvard men can once again settle down to some serious, altruistic drinking. A Social Relations thesis has finally formalized the vague nations about the drinking morals of the Harvard man.

The Harvard man is a drinking man. From the early days of ripe apples and the tang of sour cider, down through the uproarious debauches of the Memorial Hall dining room, students have preserved a taste for alcohol, straight or mixed.

The post-war University man is a far more somber, tense character than his bell-raising predecessor of the twenties or his inflamed, rabble-rousing brother of the New Deal thirties. The contemporary student worries. He worries about the draft, about the world situation, about the lack of values, and most of all, about the dim, dim future.

How do outside forces affect his rate of drinking?

Men both in and out of the University have long held irreconcilable ideas on the amount of liquor consumed in the College, on the University's perennial drunkards, and of those who drank during exams and still managed to pass with an A.

Roger V. Pugh, Jr. '51, 11., a Social Relations major, submitted a thesis last spring entitled "The Drinking Habits of the Harvard Man" which should enlighten those who have speculated long and often on this subject.

According to this study of College seniors, one-half of the members of athletic teams drink during season, one-third of the students spend less than a dollar a month on alcohol, and one-quarter of the students have passed out from drinking. Pugh adds that between one-seventh and one-eighth of the students are consistent heavy drinkers.

What is a Heavy Drinker?

Pugh's heavy drinker is one who drinks "almost daily, regularly to excess, and has gone on a bender of over 24 hours."

The first consideration is why people drink. Of the 67 men to whom Pugh asked this question, 65--who admitted they drank--replied in the following manner: for the hell of it, to get away from it all, because they see others doing it, in college to get drunk, because they have nothing else to do, because of world tension and the collapse of all values, to get a girl, as a prelude to sex, to overcome fatigue, to relax, to be different, heats the hell out of me, for the thrill, and for the taste.

It would seem that the main motivation for drinking is a desire to conform or escape. Pugh notes that this form of drinking is common in the United States. In contrast to the European motivation to drink, which is of largely taste and tradition.

The men who answered Pugh questionnaire are categorically divided as follows: 1.  Non-Drinkers  7 2.  Occasional Drinkers  16 3.  Social Drinkers  22 4.  Light-Heavy Drinkers  13 5.  Heavy Drinkers  9

Drinking by Athletes

Heavier drinkers are more often members of college athletic teams, drink during the season more, and celebrate the end of the season with more gusto and more consumption. "Perhaps," Pugh suggests, "the report throws a light on some of the recent records of Harvard athletic teams." Of the 25 athletes in the survey, 12 drank during the season.

Where do students drink? Pugh reports that in the immediate vicinity of the Square there are 12 eating places which serve alcoholic beverages, 10 final clubs, three liquor stores, the Lampoon and three other clubs, and the Hasty Pudding.

Women, according to Pugh's results, seem to have a definite affect on the quantity a man will drink. Among those in the four consumption levels, only the occasional drinkers abstain while on dates. Social drinkers do drink on dates Light-heavy and heavy drinkers always do.

Those who date one girl steadily tend to be in the social drinking class. Of the 22 in that class, ten are engaged or date one girl.

Pressure to Drink

Hardly any of the 67--men ever drink alone. Clubs, says Pugh, have a definite effect on consumption; "a social club not only encourages drinkers and drinking because it is a social club, but also exerts a more formalized pressure to drink, by sponsoring at least 40 (rough estimate) official drinking functions a year."

Drinking can definitely be correlated with marks and amount of time spent on study, if Pugh's results are correct. The social, light-heavy, and heavy drinkers usually take a nip after an exam. Unfortunately, Pugh did not ask how many drank before exams.

Those who drink more, claims Pugh, tend to study less and get lower marks, although the drinking may not be the reason. It is surprising that 1/2 of the men in group one, whom Pugh questioned, are in the heavy drinker's level. No other academic group drinks very heavily except five.

Heavier drinkers spend more time on extra-curricular activities, but claim they have more free time than do the lighter drinkers.

Those who drink more also come from wealthier families, and tend to be prop school graduates. Fewer of them have scholarships, take part-time jobs, or work for honors in their academic fields. Pugh says that "It might tentatively be suggested as a hypothesis that lower class students, who are by definition trying to be socially mobile upward through the education channel, must be more interested in the formal curricular and so do not have the time or the money to drink as much or so often."

Fields of Concentration

Fields of concentration betray little difference in number of alcoholic students. Pugh reveals that the heavier drinkers are more in Arts, Letters, and Philosophy departments. Social drinkers are mainly In the Social Studies, History and Literature. All kinds of drinkers go into the Natural Sciences.

The draft does have some effect on consumption levels. Pugh found that the heaviest drinkers were those classified 1-A, 1-D men are apparently less tense than any of the others. None of them is in the heavy drinker's level.

Pugh summarizes his findings in the following manner. "This data indicates that drinking is organized: that most people do drink but that this drinking is taboo or limited to certain times and places: cocktail parties, and, in college particularly cocktail parties following football games and in celebration of the end of an athletic training season and on dates. However, most Americans seem to drink, and college students seem to drink even more than their parents, and the rest of society."

Drinking by Athletes

Heavier drinkers are more often members of college athletic teams, drink during the season more, and celebrate the end of the season with more gusto and more consumption. "Perhaps," Pugh suggests, "the report throws a light on some of the recent records of Harvard athletic teams." Of the 25 athletes in the survey, 12 drank during the season.

Where do students drink? Pugh reports that in the immediate vicinity of the Square there are 12 eating places which serve alcoholic beverages, 10 final clubs, three liquor stores, the Lampoon and three other clubs, and the Hasty Pudding.

Women, according to Pugh's results, seem to have a definite affect on the quantity a man will drink. Among those in the four consumption levels, only the occasional drinkers abstain while on dates. Social drinkers do drink on dates Light-heavy and heavy drinkers always do.

Those who date one girl steadily tend to be in the social drinking class. Of the 22 in that class, ten are engaged or date one girl.

Pressure to Drink

Hardly any of the 67--men ever drink alone. Clubs, says Pugh, have a definite effect on consumption; "a social club not only encourages drinkers and drinking because it is a social club, but also exerts a more formalized pressure to drink, by sponsoring at least 40 (rough estimate) official drinking functions a year."

Drinking can definitely be correlated with marks and amount of time spent on study, if Pugh's results are correct. The social, light-heavy, and heavy drinkers usually take a nip after an exam. Unfortunately, Pugh did not ask how many drank before exams.

Those who drink more, claims Pugh, tend to study less and get lower marks, although the drinking may not be the reason. It is surprising that 1/2 of the men in group one, whom Pugh questioned, are in the heavy drinker's level. No other academic group drinks very heavily except five.

Heavier drinkers spend more time on extra-curricular activities, but claim they have more free time than do the lighter drinkers.

Those who drink more also come from wealthier families, and tend to be prop school graduates. Fewer of them have scholarships, take part-time jobs, or work for honors in their academic fields. Pugh says that "It might tentatively be suggested as a hypothesis that lower class students, who are by definition trying to be socially mobile upward through the education channel, must be more interested in the formal curricular and so do not have the time or the money to drink as much or so often."

Fields of Concentration

Fields of concentration betray little difference in number of alcoholic students. Pugh reveals that the heavier drinkers are more in Arts, Letters, and Philosophy departments. Social drinkers are mainly In the Social Studies, History and Literature. All kinds of drinkers go into the Natural Sciences.

The draft does have some effect on consumption levels. Pugh found that the heaviest drinkers were those classified 1-A, 1-D men are apparently less tense than any of the others. None of them is in the heavy drinker's level.

Pugh summarizes his findings in the following manner. "This data indicates that drinking is organized: that most people do drink but that this drinking is taboo or limited to certain times and places: cocktail parties, and, in college particularly cocktail parties following football games and in celebration of the end of an athletic training season and on dates. However, most Americans seem to drink, and college students seem to drink even more than their parents, and the rest of society."

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