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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

University: Alcohol-related calls on the rise

The percentage of students calling for help during alcohol-related emergencies jumped to a record high last year, a spike administrators credit to the University’s education programs and reformed amnesty policies.

Thirty-four percent of the 273 student transports to GW Hospital for alcohol-related incidents during the 2009-2010 school year were the product of calls to GW’s medical responders or the University Police Department, Tara Pereira, assistant dean of students and head of Student Judicial Services, said.

That number is a 6 percentage point uptick from the 2008-2009 academic year, when phone calls prompted 28 percent of student transports, she said.

“I hope that students are feeling more comfortable about calling for help when needed and are less worried about ‘getting in trouble,’ ” Pereira said.

Pereira said last semester 19 percent of alcohol transports resulted from calls for help. If this semester follows the same pattern, the full academic year would see a record 38 percent of alcohol transports result from student calls, she said.

The remainder of the 110 students who were transported to GW Hospital last semester did not call for help, and were hospitalized by EMeRG or UPD.

Pereira said earlier this year SJS had an ongoing image problem the body hoped to change by making education a larger part of the judicial process, as well as becoming more transparent.

She added increasing student awareness that, as a caller, students do not face judicial action, likely makes students feel more comfortable to call if they are worried a friend may have consumed too much alcohol.

Pereira also attributes the uptick in calls to GW’s Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education, crediting Assistant Director Katie Bean for its initiatives.

CADE launched a Be Wiser campaign last year to educate students about drinking responsibly and the signs of alcohol over-consumption, a promotion Pereira said likely influenced students to call.

“It’s really a bystander intervention-type campaign,” Bean said.

Priya Anand contributed to this report.

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