In its continuing quest to edify the student body, Campus Health has put out a series of flyers that are visible in ads here in the Wildcat, and on various places around campus. These ads encourage us to act like good citizens, and not drink too much or smoke. They use numbers to support their claims, and it's really too bad that we don't have the original data presented for our edification.
"Sixty-four percent of UA students have four drinks or less when they party," one ad says.
Thus, 36 percent of them can't remember how much they had to drink last time they partied.
So, on a given Thursday night, 10,800 students from this institute of higher learning are wandering around East University Boulevard not knowing where they are or what they are doing. Of course, just the phrasing of the statement excludes the significant proportion of students who don't think it's a party if they've had less than five drinks.
But let's be honest. As all the bars around here have exceedingly strict carding policies, all of the drinkers are really 21, so they're not actually hurting anyone. They boost the local economy and fruitfully dispose of money they would otherwise waste on crack cocaine and South Park merchandise.
In fact, the only ones who really suffer when large numbers of UA students get together in drunken orgies are the poor souls who live in fraternities. See, they live in "dry" environments, where, to benefit the academic atmosphere of the place, no alcohol is consumed or even allowed. As befits their higher status, they're studying on Thursday nights for the pop quiz in some vitally important business class.
Another ad boasts, "73 percent of UofA students don't use tobacco."
Therefore, 27 percent, or about 8,100 students, do. This is a big portion of the student population, and we really should do something to accommodate them.
We don't seem too picky about our other sponsors, so we can probably get Phillip Morris to sponsor a smoker's pavilion. We can build it right on the Mall: nobody will notice one more little project out in that particular wasteland, right next to the entrance to our new Integrated Learning Center, aka the project in which we solve the freshman overcrowding problem by digging a big hole, throwing all the freshmen in, covering it over and not letting anyone out until they're sophomores.
The UA can get some revenue from the one despicable corporate enterprise they're not yet in bed with, the smokers can have a convenient place to kill themselves (away from the rest of us who would rather die in a nursing home at age 90 from heart failure than from lung cancer at 60), and big tobacco gets a convenient place to market itself to impressionable freshman.
Hell, since they're adults (mostly), it's even legal.
And finally, a third Campus Health ad claims, "98 percent of UofA students stop the first time their partner says no."
Thus, 2 percent of the people on campus are rapists.
The responses to this question really make you wonder exactly how these things were phrased. Was it a multiple choice exam? "I stop forcing myself on my partner the A) first B) second or C) third time he/she says no." We know that people lie on surveys, especially about sex, and since Bill Clinton, we know that lying about sex is, in fact, perfectly acceptable. Thus, we wouldn't really expect too many people to admit to being rapists.
Now, none of this is to say that there aren't rapists on campus. There are. Too many of them. But these people aren't filling out surveys at Campus Health. They're preying on some of the most vulnerable among us, and, too often, they aren't being punished for their crimes. Most likely, the 2 percent of people who make up this purported statistic is the same 2 percent that screw up every sample of the American populace: the really, really stupid ones. The ones who, when a survey taker asks if they are happy in their marriage, respond "3." The ones who have given Tom Green a film career. The ones who postulate about "Temptation Island."
So, we could pretty easily give Campus Health a new poster: "98 percent of UA students have a brain."
But no one would believe that.