Extra! Korea

March 12, 2009

Minister warns against university binge drinking

Filed under: drinking, education — extrakorea @ 1:27 pm

First, some background information, courtesy of this Korea Times article:

Around this time every year, freshmen at universities allow themselves or are forced by seniors to drink heavily during initiation and orientation sessions. But the price they have to pay for the booze culture is costly ― and sometimes deadly.

This year was no exception, with two collegians already dead from excessive drinking bouts. Both students lost their footing and fell to their deaths after drinking bouts during orientation or welcoming gatherings ― one at a university in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, Wednesday, and the other in Incheon, Feb. 28. Two or three students drink themselves to death every year, according to statistics from the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs.

So now, according to the Joongang Daily

Health and Welfare Minister Jeon Jae-hee recently sent letters to university student councils across the nation seeking help in preventing binge-drinking-related deaths, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said in a release yesterday.

Jeon sent letters to 348 universities on Feb. 27 urging council members to avert further deaths of inebriated university students by launching campaigns promoting a healthier drinking environment on campus.

The Korea Herald adds:

In the letter, Jeon said the accidents that occur after heavy drinking not only affect the students’ families and their schools, but have an impact on the entire society.

“When looking at the personal aspect, the person might carry the bad drinking habit even later on in life, which is why it adds importance to have an appropriate drinking habit and culture in college,” she said.

“It’s critical for the student representative body to play an active role in promoting responsible drinking. I sincerely ask you to voluntarily participate in the movement to prevent serious accidents resulting from drinking.”

I see this as a positive step, for as someone who teaches at, and lives near, a Korean university, I have seen first-hand the kind of irresponsible excesses described in the articles above.

1 Comment »

  1. […] wish that all of my 18-year-old freshmen students would be made aware of this information before they start on their soju […]

    Pingback by Alcoholism « Extra! Korea — April 1, 2009 @ 11:45 am

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