By Michael Stuckless
Warnings made on a U.S. campus linking drinking games to H1N1 haven’t spread to Ryerson.
On Oct. 9, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., posted a notice to their website alerting students to the potential spread of H1N1 while sharing cups during drinking games.
Heather Lane Vetere, vice provost students, said that Ryerson hasn’t considered warning students about the H1N1 risks associated with drinking games. Vetere had only heard of RPI’s announcement on the popular sketch-comedy show, Saturday Night Live.
“Schools with larger populations may have more problems with it,” said Vetere.
According to a Oct. 13, report RPI had experienced 64 cases of H1N1 flu.
Several flu cases at RPI have been linked to specific events on campus, such as football games and weekend parties, posted Dr. Leslie Lawrence, RPI’s student health centre medical director in an H1N1 bulletin.
Despite explicit warnings to avoid drinking games and sharing cups, some students aren’t concerned about the spread of the virus.
“It’s the safest way, but nobody is stopping beer pong. It’s like a national pastime here,” said Zac Benzing, a student at RPI.
Chad Nuttall, Ryerson’s housing manager, believes sharing bathrooms or dishes with a roommate is more likely to spread the virus than a game of beer pong.
Regardless, underage drinking and drinking games aren’t permitted in Ryerson residences.
Although Nuttall is aware that drinking still goes on in residence, he believes issuing a similar H1N1 announcement would conflict with the current rules.
“If they’re going to ban drinking games, they might as well ban shaking hands,” said Carlo Magsambol, a fourth-year nursing student.