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tom vander ven

Thomas Vander Ven

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Sociology professor to discuss the social aspect of college drinking in Science Cafe


Thomas Vander Ven, Ohio University professor of sociology will present "Why Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hard," at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 in the Baker University Center Front Room.

It's difficult to imagine bar signs advertising social services for relationship problems, stress and anxiety or self-esteem issues. People rarely see college drinking as a time for student counseling and support. However, the social aspect of drinking allows students to work together to improve negative outcomes.

"Drinking is social. People do it together," Vander Ven said. "They work together to decide when to drink and how much to drink, and they work together to deal with the inevitable crises that occur when
people drink."

Vander Ven has studied hundreds of college students and their drinking habits, focusing on an often overlooked area within college student alcohol consumption that he calls 'drunk support'.

"There's a tremendous body of literature on the harms of college drinking such as violence, sexual victimization, getting sick, not doing well in school, fighting with significant others, etc.," Vander Ven said. "But we know very little about how college drinkers work together to deal with those issues to reduce harm."

Science Cafés are a venue for students interested in the sciences and engineering to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty, staff and the community in a friendly setting.