Alcohol-Related Transports at Record Low; Peer Health Cites New Online Newsletter As Primary Cause

BY: WILL HAUSMANN Oct. 27, 2020

After six full weekends on campus, there has been a shockingly small number of transports to Mid Coast Hospital due to the over-imbibing of alcohol. Only four students have found themselves taking an unplanned ambulance ride, according to data the Harpoon obtained from the Office of Safety and Security. This represents a 71% decline in transports, compared to an average of 13.7 transports through six weekends in previous years.

Members of Peer Health are suggesting the decline can be attributed to their decision to introduce a virtual newsletter each week, starting in late March of last academic year. “We decided that Peer Health needed a messaging change, so we chose an email newsletter instead of posters because it’s a digital age and stuff,” Darren Shepherd ‘21 told the Harpoon. “After realizing the screenagers of today spend all of their time on the toilet staring at their phones instead of the Stall Street Journal, we realized we needed to go virtual to be successful.”

Susan Seuss ‘21 , a Biology major, aspiring research MD, and co-leader of Peer Health, said she is investigating this effect for her honors project this year. “I conducted a double-blind, peer-reviewed experiment comparing the transport rates of students who identify as ‘Active’ vs ‘Inactive’ readers of Peer Health content,” Seuss said. She went on to say that her data “absolutely guarantees” that the newsletter is preventing transports.

When asked whether COVID and social distancing guidelines could be attributed to the lower number of transports, Seuss and Shepherd said there was “weak causality at best.”

Still, not all students are ready to accept Peer Health’s explanation. According to Orson Digby Palmer V, self-described “beer maven” and third generation member of the lacrosse team, the sole reason for the decline is “this year’s crop of first years are simply not as cool as that of previous years,” and they lack the “100 kegs or bust” mentality exemplified by our newest Supreme Court justice,

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