The Spectacle Blog

Best College Essay Wins $1,000

By on 3.18.13 | 3:58PM

The American Spectator is seeking entries for its second collegiate essay contest. The winning op-ed will appear in the print edition of our magazine, and we'll write its author a check for a cool $1,000.

ESSAY PROMPT: Binge Drinking: The Pros and Cons

It has never been a secret that college students like to drink. According to common definition, “binge drinking” means consuming five or more drinks in one setting; according to common perception, this is what college students generally call “Friday.”

The fact is that many people -- not just students -- find redeeming social value in alcohol.

Yet jokes aside, colleges face a serious problem, as alcohol-related deaths on campuses show. Many institutions, in hopes of keeping students safe and perhaps to give themselves legal cover, aid and abet booze culture by subsidizing transportation away from watering holes near campus—what students lovingly term the “drunk bus.”

Why do college students engage in moronic behavior with alcohol? How do they square spending thousands of dollars on tuition (and racking up thousands in student debt), and then missing classes to drink or to recover from the previous night’s drinking? If the legal drinking age were lowered from 21 to 18, would that alleviate the problem by bringing underground drinking into the light, or would it worsen the problem by increasing access to alcohol? How should we as a civilization think about college booze culture?

THE DETAILS: Submissions should grapple with the question at hand in a thoughtful, journalistic manner, and should draw on facts, figures, and personal experiences. Each essay should run approximately 1,500 words. Wit and humor are encouraged but not required.

Send entries to college@spectator.org as a Word document attachment.

Entries are due by April 1.

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