The idea of having alcohol free flats is unknown to most students moving into halls. But drink or no drink, your time at university is likely to involve alcohol one way or another, whether that’s you drinking or watching others do so.
A university in the UK has recently introduced the idea of having alcohol free halls for students who do not wish to partake in the so called drinking culture of students. The assumption that all students will drink is of course wrong, and just because non-drinking students may be in the minority, could more be done to create a living space where students can be away from this? As well as this being a good idea for non-drinking students, it may also give other students a chance to think about the dangers of drinking, shaping a new attitude towards alcohol in general.
Third year philosophy and politics student, Ephraim Luwemba, argues that it is not necessarily a bad thing to mix drinkers and non-drinkers. Looking back to first year as a non-drinker, he said:
“I guess the biggest thing would have been if I had felt pressured, and I didn’t, so it wasn’t really much of an issue. Also, it depends how often people are drinking. If every social activity is accompanied by a lot of drink, then I imagine it would become alienating, but we played cards and cooked.”
Therefore, it doesn’t mean that non-drinking students won’t fit into a group of people who do drink. It’s not the defining feature of anyone, and if drinking is done responsibly, then there should be no issue in mixing students like nearly all universities do.
From the other perspective, mixing students is also positive for drinkers as it encourages them to have fun without feeling the need to drink. Not all social activities at university require drinking, and by being in a flat without being pressured by every person to turn to alcohol to have a good time can be a healthy balance.