Head to Head: Should ARC be Hosting a Beer-Related College Hour?

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Courtesy of Michael Angelone

ARC Professor Michael Angelone's home brewing kit. Angelone has told the Current he's been home brewing for 10 years.

Matthew Peirson and Joseph Daniels

By Joseph Daniels and Matthew Peirson

Joseph Daniels: YES

There has been some concerns over whether or not College Hour should host the upcoming lecture, “History and Science of Beer”.

Other than the fact that the lecture is about beer, what makes the lecture so interesting is that it combines both chemistry and history together, something college students will most likely rarely experience.

Students who are science majors will probably benefit from the history aspect, and vice versa for the history majors.

The interest is probably even more so for students who are not taking either of these courses this semester.

The cool thing about beer is that like food, it can be used as an entry to experience different world cultures. Beer brewed in Japan is different than the beer brewed in Belgium.

Recently, American River College was schedule to host a DUI trial on campus. It could be argued that hosting a lecture that also celebrates beer is sending students mixed messages.

There are examples in history where people discovered that drinking beer was more sanitary than drinking the water.

In some cases, the water supply becomes contaminated during natural disasters.

California is also currently experiencing a drought. With the dwindling supply of fresh drinking water, knowing how to brew beer could be a good supplement to water in case of disaster.

College Hour seems that it was created to open up students to new experiences, and what better way to do that then to make students interact with their studies in a different way than teaching them how to brew beer?

Matthew Peirson: NO

On Oct. 2nd, American River College will host a college hour on the “History and Science of Beer,” which includes two ARC professors bringing in materials to show their home brewing skills.

While the idea of college hours is great to open up students’ minds to new activities or experiences, is it really smart for ARC to have one on the subject of beer?

ARC has a history of substance abuse problems among its student body, including with alcohol.

While the message of the event is not literally saying “Hey! Come here and get drunk!” shouldn’t it be taken into consideration that the subject of the college hour promotes beer related activities?

According to collegedrinkingprevention.gov, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related injuries yearly, including motor vehicle crashes. Almost 600,000 students within that age group become unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol, and almost 700,000 are assaulted annually, according to the website.

Perhaps most striking, a whopping 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol every year.

The site also listed statistics in relation to alcohol and sexual abuse, academic problems, and police involvement.

In addition to this, ARC was scheduled to host a “DUI court” last week in the student center, where an actual trial of someone convicted of driving under the influence occurs, and the defendant is convicted. The event ended up being cancelled.

It’s not to say that the college hour on beer history and home brewing shouldn’t occur at all, but simply that the ill and sometimes destructive effects of alcohol should be considered when an event like this is to go public.

About four out of five college students drink alcohol, and about half of that 80th percentile consume alcohol through binge drinking, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

So, while not everyone who attends an event such as a history of beer and home brewing presentation will automatically become a binge drinker, it’s also fair to say that there are some people in the world that are more impressionable than others.

Isn’t that something we should consider as a college campus before promoting this event?