Education

Five Points sends more drunk students to the hospital than tailgating, frat houses

Pastides takes stance against ‘troubling, late night issues’ in Five Points

USC president Harris Pastides talks about the "troubling, late night issues" in Five Points during his State of USC address.
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USC president Harris Pastides talks about the "troubling, late night issues" in Five Points during his State of USC address.

Of the 115 University of South Carolina students who were hospitalized for drug or alcohol use last school year, nearly 40 percent had their last drink at a Five Points bar, according to a USC study.

That’s five times as many students who said they had their last drink at Williams-Brice Stadium or tailgating and four times as many as the residence halls/Greek Village, according to the study.

Though students hospitalized for drug or alcohol use were more likely to say they had their last drink in Five Points than any other place, 34 percent of hospitalized students said they had their last drink at an off-campus housing or apartment complex.

The study, conducted by USC’s Substance Abuse Prevention & Education, polled 115 students who in the 2017-2018 school year were hospitalized for drug or alcohol use regarding where they consumed their last drink before hospitalization. Students were also asked in which bar they had their last drink before being hospitalized.

For students who named a bar, Cotton Gin, Moosehead Saloon and Pavlov’s were the most common. Many bars in Five Points weren’t named at all.

A Cotton Gin employee declined to comment. Moosehead Saloon and Pavlov’s could not be reached for comment.

Students who are hospitalized for drinking or drug use are referred to the Students Taking Initiative & Responsibility program, or STIR, a three-session course designed to help students cut down on risky behavior. At the start of the STIR program, students are asked the survey questions used in the study.

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The university has used the conclusions reached in the study to justify opposing liquor licenses in Five Points, but this is the first time the study results have been published.

“Allowing bars and clubs to continue to promote late-night and early-morning drinking as an inexpensive activity, with little regard for legal ordinances, places undue burdens on law enforcement, diminishes the quality of life for nearby residents and endangers our students,” USC President Harris Pastides said while announcing his retirement Wednesday.

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The study results obtained by The State do not show what day the students were transported to the hospital, nor does it indicate whether there is a correlation between drink specials and students being hospitalized.

The number of students who said they had their last drink in a given place before being hospitalized for drinking or drugs, according to the study:

  • Five Points: 45

  • Off-campus house or apartment: 39

  • Residence hall/Greek village: 12

  • Williams-Brice Stadium/tailgate: 8

  • Other: 7

  • Other off-campus housing (i.e. 650 Lincoln, Aspire, and Park Place): 3

  • Outside, on campus: 1

For hospitalized students who said they had their last drink in Five Points, they were also asked at which bar they had their last drinks:

  • Cotton Gin: 7

  • Moosehead Saloon: 6

  • Pavlov’s: 5

  • Horseshoe: 4

  • Bird Dog: 2

  • Group Therapy: 2

  • Don’t know: 2
  • Cover 3: 1

  • Latitude: 1

  • Rooftop: 1

  • Didn’t answer: 14

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