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EDUCATION REPORT - Foreign Student Series #18: Alcohol Ban at University of Oklahoma - 2004-12-30

Broadcast: December 30, 2004

This is Gwen Outen with the VOA Special English Education Report.

We continue our series of reports about foreign students at American colleges and universities.

Students at American colleges are on winter holiday until early next year. Many young people are making plans to attend celebrations in honor of New Year. At this time of year, parents of college students worry about how young people use alcoholic drinks. Parents also worry about alcohol use at school. This is our subject today.

American education officials have been concerned for years about how students use alcohol. Some of it has had deadly results. For example, a student at the University of Oklahoma died in September following a fraternity party. His blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit.

Such extreme use of alcohol is known as “binge drinking.” It means having four to five drinks in less than one hour. Studies have found a link between binge drinking and parties at college fraternity houses. Reports say the deaths of one thousand four hundred college students in the United States last year were linked to alcohol use.

College officials say dangerous drinking has taken place at colleges for many years. But they still have not found a way to stop it. Now, the University of Oklahoma at Norman has decided to ban the use of alcohol.

The ban goes into effect on January eighteenth. It affects all twenty two thousand students at the University, including the one thousand six hundred foreign students attending this year.

Parents of students will be told if their child is found with any kind of alcohol. The students also will take part in an alcohol education program. A second violation of the rule will result in punishment. The student will be suspended from school after three violations.

All new students will be required to complete an alcohol education program. And the University of Oklahoma will cooperate with the local police force to stop parties where binge drinking takes place.

University President David Boren says the goal of the plan is to reduce dangerous drinking by students and to develop a successful program that other schools can follow.

For more information about the alcohol ban and admission information for the University of Oklahoma, go to its web site at

This VOA Special English EDUCATION REPORT was written by Nancy Steinbach. This is Gwen Outen.