The financial truth of partying

Rashay Reading, Staff Reporter

It is difficult to walk near the Central campus on a weekend and not hear the sounds of students throwing parties.

And although two-thirds of Central students choose to take part in festivities, it is less frequent than people think.

Doug Fulp, health educator at the Wellness Center, said that Central has a 1 to 2 percent higher rate of students who choose not to drink, compared to the national average.

About 80 percent of Central students receive financial aid every year to help pay for their education, and some of that money is dispersed to students every quarter for personal use.

For those two-thirds of students who choose to be a part of the party scene, that leftover financial aid money is fair game to be used to buy alcohol or other substances.

What many of these students don’t know is that spending money on drugs and alcohol—any money, not just financial aid money—can cause a great amount of future financial trouble.

“Long term use of any substance can develop into addiction,” Fulp said, regarding whether or not students understand the financial costs of partying. “That becomes where it starts taking over, it takes priority over things, and financials is one of those things.”

Chris De Villeneuve, the executive director of the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, said that students who spend a lot of their time using drugs and alcohol need to get their priorities straight.

“One, figure out what your priorities are, and two, if you’re spending more time getting high or drunk, or dealing with the consequences of those things, then it’s becoming a problem,” De Villeneuve said.

As an example of what an average house party might cost, two off-campus students, who wished to remain anonymous, explained an average weekend of partying for them.

“We probably spend about one hundred dollars for just one night… for a weekend, probably two hundred or three hundred.”

Additionally, he students said they have spent their entire financial aid checks on throwing parties.

The future all depends on how you spend your money, whether it be responsibly or not. Fulp has some advice to students that are having trouble spending money in a responsible manner.

“Most college students are limited on money, I think the thing is to look at the long term impact. It’s the idea of setting a long term budget and understanding. Figure it out well ahead of time, and set limits,” Fulp said.

Although dropping large amounts of money on drugs and alcohol can become a serious problem, there are many resources here at Central for anyone who chooses to change or gain more control of their habits.

The Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, which is located in front of the Bassetties, allows anyone to talk to counselors, or get medical help.

There is also the Wellness Center in the SURC, where students can talk to someone, get advice, help with issues and information.

An advisor is also a good resource for getting help and advice, especially if alcohol or drug abuse gets in the way of academics.