Blog: Student culture in transition
I took part in Kuopio's BBA students' association podcast, the topic of which was alcohol-free student culture. We talked with Annika Väänänen, the chairperson of KuoTra, about what her study times are like as an alcohol-free student and how not drinking alcohol can affect you becoming part of the community at university of applied sciences among other things.
The student culture has been known to be really “wet” and a large part of the events organized by the student associations have included alcohol in one way or another, which in turn has caused pressure for students who do not drink alcohol. As a result, a non-alcoholic student may have often left events altogether or reluctantly succumbed to drinking alcohol under group pressure.
However, the spark of hope lies in a surprising place, i.e. the Covid pandemic, which, despite its many harmful aspects, offers a solution to the situation. During the pandemic, a large part of the students have not been able to experience this old “wet” student culture, which provides a great opportunity for a renewal, when the old traditions are no longer so strongly in the students' memory. This is a great opportunity to start renewing the student culture from a clean slate.
At this point, I want to encourage every student organization to work to ensure that non-alcoholic students also feel welcome and safe to participate in your events. Student culture belongs to all of us whether you drink alcohol or not!
At Students of Business and Technology, we have made changes to our own operating style over the past year in order to become an organization that increasingly takes into account people who consume little or no alcohol. Among other things, this change has included the development of the interest group meetings we organize to be even more focused on education and networking, where alcohol only acts as a lightener for the atmosphere at the end of the evening and not as a main program number. Both our internal and external activities must be positive, regardless of whether the participants use alcohol.
Our goal is to normalize the fact that alcohol does not always have to be a part of student culture and not drinking is completely normal.
You can listen the podcast (in Finnish) here: Podcast
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