Editorial, Opinion

EDITORIAL: Borgston University might have an alcohol problem

Yesterday marked the 127th occurrence of the annual Boston Marathon race that attracts over 30,000 athletes worldwide to compete.

Brett Abrams | Senior Graphic Artist

But while some ran laps, students at Boston University and surrounding schools celebrated, not with applause and cheers, but with bottles and booze. 

April 17 marks another holiday known by most as “MarMon”— an abbreviation for “marathon Monday,” but at its core, it’s merely another term students use to describe an all-day drinking fest.

So how does one of the most famous races stretching an astounding 26.2 miles equate to students getting black-out drunk midday? We’re still not really sure — but college wouldn’t be college without some risk-taking.

BORGS or “black out rage gallons” have grown in popularity through social media apps like TikTok, where students are seen showing off their cleverly named jug — “top o’the borgin’,” “certified lover borg” and “cinnamon borg crunch” are just a few examples. We would be surprised if you didn’t see students carrying milk jug-size concoctions yesterday. 

The issue isn’t that we fail to commemorate the grisly battle that occurred at Lexington and Concord just 247 years ago on Patriot’s Day, MarMon’s sister holiday, but rather that it’s normalizing dangerous drinking habits.

Yes, the copious emails from BU about the dangers of BORGS and binge drinking were more annoying than helpful — but maybe they had a point.

It would be naive for the institution to believe that a warning message about drinking too much would be any sort of deterrent for college students — we all got into BU for a reason, and we’re smart enough to understand the risks — but are we smart enough to weigh them?

In one sense, the use of a BORG is much safer than drinking from a communal mix served up by some random party. If students are going to go on a bender, it’s arguably better that they drink their poison from a gallon of their own creation. At the very least, they know these three things: whose hands it’s been in, if the cap has been on and what it contains. 

In 2022 alone, the Boston University Police Department reported over 71 instances of alleged drink spiking — an incredible margin for just one year of tracking. When you look at things from this standpoint, perhaps there is some sense of appreciation to be had for the creator of the BORG.

But hold your applause — BORGS are not all they’re chalked up to be. Yes, the gallon may be hand-crafted by you, but misunderstandings about alcohol consumption can quickly turn dangerous.

The standard jug is defined by the combination of alcohol, typically vodka, with an electrolyte-boosting or caffeinated drink. On average, the amount of liquor in these bottles is around 25.4 oz — but hey, that’s only if you’re measuring correctly. Not everyone at the University is a math major, so when it comes to estimating how much they’re drinking, students can fall horribly short in their calculations. 

Some may argue the “blackout” experience that stems from this ignorance serves as a teaching lesson about tolerance, or a ride of passage for college students but we’re not in the classroom right now, so it’s important we acknowledge the darker underside of this tradition. 

For one thing, many fail to recognize that even though they’re drinking over the course of several hours, BORGS can contain up to 17 standard drinks which can easily dehydrate the unaware, or send even the most seasoned of drinkers to the ER with alcohol poisoning.

When mixers do their job too well, and completely mask the bitter taste of alcohol, it’s easy to over-indulge but binge drinking carries the risk of permanent damage to the brain, heart and lungs, among a myriad of other short and long-term health issues.

Don’t get it twisted we’re not saying alcohol, or the prospect of “MarMon” should be banned — if anything telling people what not to do just makes them want to do it more. Perhaps the only issue troubling college students besides binge drinking is FOMO, and when the two go head-to-head, the winner is pretty obvious

To borg or not to borg — it seems like the most pertinent question of the time. But puns aside, these names and jokes seem to just be slapping a humorous label on what’s really a serious binge drinking issue.

With April designated as alcohol awareness month, beat the BORG to morgue allegations and just party responsibly. 

This editorial was written by Opinion Editor Analise Bruno

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