Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Histrionics

Cooley Dickinson Hospital 1:15 AM. All five ambulances (2 from Hamp)  for Amherst patients

The scourge of rowdy student behavior seems to be turning inwardly as once again the medical side of pubic safety response bore the brunt of collage aged youth acting to excess.  In this case, drinking.

Although busy, mostly with crowd control on streets near UMass, Amherst Police Department only made three arrests last night, all for "minors in possession of alcohol."

Amherst Fire Department, on the other hand, was once again OVERWHELMED with ETOH (passed out drunk) young "adults".  In fact during those awful Bewitching Hours (midnight to 2:00 AM) all five Amherst ambulances were tied up (mostly with drunks) and Northampton had to provide two ambulances via mutual aid -- both of them for drunk college aged youth.

Last night into early this morning a total of ten college aged youth required transport for being dangerously intoxicated -- nine of them from UMass and one from Amherst College.

 AFD fire engines had to be pressed into medical service, this one at UMass for ETOH male

The excuse of course will be a tired one:   Amherst is a "college town" and all of this is simply a time honored "Rite of Passage."  Especially during a pagan ritual like Halloween.

But you don't check manners at the door like an oversized backpack.  Your right to be an uncivilized heathen slob ends when that bad behavior endangers innocent members of the general public, which includes families and senior citizens.

And yes, MY two children.

Ambulance again required at 45 Phillips Street for female who fell down stairs

The Mass Daily Collegian reports


Anonymous said...

The Town should adopt a fee or penalty for ETOH transport once it has been established, say $500.00 a run. Why not they charge for everything else in this Town. I don't think their insurance would pay and it would be out-of-pocket. Maybe they would think twice next time.

Walter Graff said...

"The excuse of course will be a tired one: Amherst is a "college town" and all of this is simply a time honored "Rite of Passage."

Unfortunately Larry that is the reality (not the excuse) but with one change. The new phrase is:

"Amherst is a "college town" and we have an epidemic in this country of students drinking not to get drunk but binge drink to actually feel happier."

Researchers in a recently published study asked undergraduate students at a Northeastern liberal arts college to fill out a survey on their drinking behaviors. 58% of the students responded which makes it a large response and statistically important.

And the scarey results where that students who report binge drinking also report being happier than their non-binge drinking peers.

And here is the kicker. The survey revealed that happiness was directly related to “status” — with wealthy, white, male, heterosexual and/or Greek-affiliated students being happier than “lower status” students.

But that's not the only twist.
“Lower status” students as in less wealthy, female, non-white, homosexual, and/or non-Greek affiliated students who also binge drink report levels of social satisfaction that are comparable to their high status counterparts.

Bottom line is that in today's world binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for higher social status in college and is correspondingly related to greater social satisfaction. Or said a more simpler way binge drinking is now a socially acceptable way to "fit in" and leads to a better sense of "happiness" and one of the reason why you are seeing the alcohol industry change its sales tactics to cater to this phenomenon.

So Larry, you and I and other can bitch all we want but this is not going to be solved by more police, stricter rules and regulation, nor by college administrations handing out alcohol awareness fliers and donuts.

We are seeing one of the first nationwide side-effects to the dramatic change in the way young people socialize and communicate as a result of the lack of the "old-school" direct form of communication that you and I grew up on. Social media and texting has created has created a generation of people who now believe that they must prove themselves and reveal their vulnerability to fit in due a lot to this millennial generation aka "The 9/11 generation" growing up when they did.

The colleges need to pay attention as their plans to curb this behavior are beyond their means. It is a growing socially acceptable way to act amongst the 9/11 generation. So they better get more ambulances and more personnel because nothing they can do will stop this phenomenon from getting worse based on all the new science coming out on the subject of socialization and habits of the 9/11 generation.

Each generation seems to reflect a quality of the times they were born and this generation is about shock and surprise. It's a VERY different thing than you and I know or understand.

Walter Graff said...

Continuation from above.

This current college generation saw the world go from being a place of magic and mystery to a place of anxiety and fear and that was a transformative point for them. Innocence was lost for this generation and their current habits show that clearly. Their use of social networking has facilitated a sense of unity for them and their direct socialization is no longer the same type of socialization you and I or any other generation knew.

PAY ATTENTION TO THIS NEXT LINE UMASS POLICE AND ADMINISTRATORS: Social networking has created an inclusive club for this generation. They feel united due to the pervasive form of global communication that is now social media and stand against those on the outside of their group or should I say their perception of who is outside. That is why they have no fear in attacking police and violating the law in a fashion that our generation wouldn't think of. The more social networking becomes their way of life the more they will be anarchists to old-school systems that seem to them to be on the outside of their community.

Take a "me" generation and give them a way to make "me" into "us" as in "we share our lives on the internet freer than we would reveal to our families" and you have a making of one of the least empathetic generations to rules, and normalized social behavior.

The mantra of this generation is "we are not safe" and that is like a generation who is about fight or flight. You are seeing that in large social group gatherings all the way to individual small-group partying.

An insecure and frightened generation of kids need ways to feel accepted that six generations before them never knew and there is nothing old-school thinking is going to be able to do to stop it.

Walter Graff said...

"Maybe they would think twice next time."

Old-school thinking. It assumes a sense of awareness that does not exist for this generation.

Anonymous said...

No new firefighters, folks. Yet Amherst has the fifth highest property tax rate in the entire state of Massachusetts. Hmmm, something doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 1:32

You should take your taxation concerns to Superintendent Maria Geryk. She is the one who said several years ago she would be making positive changes at the schools. Her spending is out of control and there is no end in site. It is only going to get worse as the School Committee continues to rubber stamp everything she says.

The police and Fire departments in Amherst are a bargain. Those guys deal with real problems everyday some life threatening yet you never hear them crying how the sky is falling unlike the school system.

Anonymous said...

Remember don't respond to Walter and he will go away. Ignore him, just ignore him and he will go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

“We have to think what is the best possible use for the next available dollar,” Musante said when asked about Nelson’s proposal to boost staffing. “The best use of money is to apply it to the peak demand.”

He needs to pull his head out of the sand, or wherever it is. While we know that UMass sucks the life out of AFD's resources on the weekend, they also have to call for coverage during the day and even when students were gone. Why isn't he making this a funding priority?

Anonymous said...

Right Now 11/01/13 2:55pm- All On duty fire personnel sound like they are committed.. Call force has been called in to man the station, they sent an Engine to Shutesbury for a building fire. This is not college related- it is not a "peak time".. its day to day business. The staffing is critically low and they need appropriate levels. I don't understand what the town doesn't get.
A. Scanner. Listener.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that students would ever realize how much that they are using up precious municipal resources and precluding those resources from being available for needy others?

Any chance that they would realize that their dangerous drinking games are zero-sum games?

Is it too much to ask?

Walter Graff said...

"Any chance that they would realize that their dangerous drinking games are zero-sum games?"

To us we recognize such consequences as:

Sexual Abuse
Unsafe sex
Academic problems
Police problems
Alcohol abuse
Suicide attempts
Various health problems

To the average student binge drinker:

It's a vehicle for social mobility and as a way to contend with an otherwise hostile social environment.

Amherst, the town that has a huge rug it likes to sweep its problems under better stop spending money in the grammar and high schools like toilet paper and start putting some into a decent and well manned fire/emergency department.

Anonymous said...

Where exactly is the money going at the school level? Definitely not for the kids. Most of my kid's classes don't even offer a text book. Every year, at least one teacher complains to the class that they make so little and hate their job.

Live in Amherst. Enjoy yearly to twice yearly riots, a sub-par education for your children, trespassing and adult men urinating in your yard, drunk mobs crowding the downtown, noise at all hours, disruptive parties, few fire personnel, decrepit and unkept property, cars on lawns, litter and drunk drivers galore. For this sought-after quality of life, you will pay the fifth highest property tax in the state of Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love our little Town? Just another day in happy valley.

Anonymous said...

Although your point of view is valid and interesting, you seem to forget how much UMass gives to the town and how much student spending at local stores gives to the town. Think back to your own college days and reflect on why you are so bitter. Also: if you are unhappy with the situation, why choose to live in a five college area?