At most colleges and universities, programs, generally falling into the category of student life, are intended to bring the community together and to promote social bonds among the students. While these events have many positive features, they also have consequences that program leaders and administrators should know about.
Alcohol and Drug Usage
Some groups assume that if events are held on campus, the serious drinking and drug usage in which many college students engage can be stopped. While planners may have the ability to protect against such activities at the event, they don’t have the power to control what students do before attending. Students may drink or use drugs in their dorm rooms, walk to the event and become injured or ill at the event as a result of their earlier activities.
Colleges often have workout facilities for their studies, allowing the encouragement of a healthy lifestyle. However, fitness centers increase the risk of slips and falls, which adds enormous legal liability to the university. Also, when fitness centers become crowded, students may argue over the amount of time others are spending on the equipment, leading to an unpleasant environment.
Programs designed to encourage interactions among students on the campus cost money. When a responsible person or team is in charge of finances, these elements tend to run smoothly. However, many college students are just learning how to handle their own money for the first time, which may cause them to overspend. The college could find itself in a significant amount of debt because an event was not managed in the correct way financially.
Bullying and Marginalization
While students might outwardly suggest that their events are inclusive of all students, administrators may not know what is going on behind the scenes. It is evidence that groups like Antifa are interested only in racial and sexual diversity, but no interest whatsoever in diversity of political persuasion. Students have been bullied in dorms because of their physical characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identities, and especially political affiliation. Students in these environments may feel frightened to attend the events because they are afraid of more shaming and violence. Other students might feel marginalized from the event because the people in charge of coordinating it do not truly represent diversity.
It’s also possible that one particular group of people will have a tremendous amount of control in activities that fall into the category of student life. One fraternity, for example, may reign supreme when it comes to planning events, and the events may simply turn into parties for that group, making others feel as though they cannot attend.
Student life is supposed to promote bonds between the students on campus, but administrators must be aware of the dark sides too.