University Post
University of Copenhagen
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Editorial: ESN should sober up

The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is supposed to be about meeting new people. But instead the network organises events with discounted alcohol prices for hard-drinking party-goers

Apparently, this is alienating groups of some international students who for personal or cultural reasons don’t want to take part in the binge drinking culture.

For a number of reasons, students from abroad generally drink a lot. An average of 12 beers or drinks every week, according to a previous University Post survey, and they drink far more here in Copenhagen, than they do at home.

Some will argue that even if ESN does social events with cheaper drinks, it is simply in line with what goes on elsewhere at other parties in Copenhagen. If ESN doesn’t help organise it, the intensive drinking will just go on at the dorms and kollegiums, they say.

But when the network on its website promotes parties with entrance-fees followed by drinks-for-free happy hours, the fine line between accepting the social activity of drinking alcohol, and the active promotion of binge drinking has been crossed.

ESN is supported financially by the University of Copenhagen for the good things ESN does, like organising cultural events such as the regular trip to the Viking ships in Roskilde. The University of Copenhagen should continue to do so.

It is painful for us at the University Post to criticise ESN. Several of our foreign student reporters regularly attend ESN events. The network does a good job in making sure international students meet new friends and have a stay in Copenhagen that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

BUT it is time that the network sobered up.

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