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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students need their Red Bull

    Caffeine is a way of life. For many students, a morning without Starbucks, Red Bull, or a 5-hour Energy is similar to going through withdrawals. If the U-Mart or any other campus vendor were to stop selling energy drinks, what would happen? UA would start to look like the set of “I Am Legend” with student zombies lurking throughout campus without their caffeine.

    A New Hampshire Higher Education Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Survey found that 20 percent of University of New Hampshire students reported using energy drinks as alcohol mixers. The survey prompted the University of New Hampshire to ban on energy drinks on campus, but the ban was pulled before anyone’s Full Throttle buzz could wear off. As we all remember from the Four Loko outlaw of 2010, alchohol-based energy drinks are more dangerous than your average rum and Coke.

    The study found that students who mixed alcohol and energy drinks had double the injury rates, hospital visits, and sexual assaults than those who drank only alcohol. Although the reasoning behind the ban makes sense and only promotes the safety of UNH students, it is unwise to take caffeine options away from students. If students are going to mix alcohol with energy drinks, they will continue to do so regardless of whether the energy drinks are sold on campus or not. Alcohol is not sold on campus, yet 82 percent of students under 21 consume it.

    Removing energy drinks from the on-campus vendors also limits a student’s access to late-night caffeine fixes. It is not unreasonable to argue that students stay up all night. It happens, and quite regularly too. At the UA, the only caffeine options for pulling all-nighters are beverages at the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center vending machines and Highland Market. Canyon Cafe and Starbucks close way too early for all-night coffee, leaving the energy drinks as a last resort to help stay awake. It is unclear what UNH’s late-night on campus dining options are but if energy drinks are gone, students might feel the need to turn to Adderall or other prescription pills to stay focused during long nights. It is no mystery that Adderall is popular among students. Some of its fans claim they cannot finish a study guide or long paper without it and a ban could cause students to experiment.

    Students are old enough to make their own decisions. We are considered adults at this point and prohibiting the selling of energy drinks on campus only treats us like children.

    The Four Loko ban was a wise decision due to the high amount of alcohol-poisoning that resulted from consumption of the “blackout in a can” alone, but banning energy drinks on a college campus is inappropriate and will not stop students from unhealthy intoxication. UNH wants to become the healthiest campus in the nation they should stick to better dining options rather than trying to end college drink-mixing.

    — Caroline Nachazel is a junior studying journalism and communication. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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