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The BG Daily Booze

From the outside looking in you can see there is always something going on inside the hallowed halls of Bowling Green’s most popular college bar, even on a Wednesday night right before closing.

An Inside Look at the College Bar Life

(Top) The last few drops of a Shocktop draft left on a table at closing time, which was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to cleaning the bar following the immesnse partying that had just taken place. (Right) Located right down the hill from Western Kentucky University, and named for it’s relevant location to campus, Hilligan’s Sports Bar and Grill flies a WKU banner on it’s lamp post right outside.

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The Hilligan’s sign glows until 2 am when the bar closes, but for most that isn’t the end of their night.

Binge or Bust The outside facade of Hilligan’s seems innocent enough, until you step inside and see the chaos for yourself.

The interior of the bar isn’t spacious but that doesn’t stop it from reaching capacity most weekends out of the year.

On a Wednesday night, a mere 15 minutes before closing, bar life in BG is still thriving from those taking advantage of karaoke night.

In today’s college society, the concept “less is more” seems to be a foreign concept. What is now referred to as “binge drinking” has become an accepted norm among college students of all ages and concentrations. Chris Hollern, general manager of Hilligan’s Sports Bar and Grill, said that, “when I first started here around three years ago drinking was a big part of college life.” “Three years later and the conept of having a social drink has seemed to fly out the window”, Hollern said, “Students don’t seem to know their limits any more, or they just don’t care to acknowledge them.” Hollern said that the past year in particular has indicated an even bigger issue with excessive alchol consumption. Fighting rates have peaked causing additional attention from the Bowling Green Police Department. “There’s nothing you can do except cut them off, but by that point, it’s usually too late,” Hollern said, “people here don’t come out to socialize and sip a few beers anymore, I’ve heard multiple people running around the bar yelling ‘blackout or go home’”. As what are considered legal adults assumptions would be made that today’s college students were capable of taking care of themselves and making educated decisions, however, this goes to show this is not the case. Students are students and they learn as they grow and from the mistakes they make along the way. Yet, in this case, that can prove to have detrimental and downright scary consequences. Something has to change in order to sway students away from drinking to the point where they are physically ill or unable to recall the events from the night before. Binge or bust, should not be the motto.


Jason Benefiel, long-time bartender, tell customers no after last call despite their constant pleas.

A closed bar sign does not stop patrons from pestering the bartenders following their refusal to continue serving.

A “tip” from the bartenders is to what what you drink, how much you drink of it, and to stop when you feel like you’ve had too much.

Face the Facts... • • • • •

About four out of five college students drink alcohol. About half of college students who drink, also consume alcohol through binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as “drinking five or more drinks in a row for men and four drinks for women,” by the Alcohol Policy MD. “It is generally understood by most people as too much alcohol in too little time. Approximately two out of five college students are binge drinkers. Each year, drinking affects college students, as well as college communities, and families. The consequences of drinking include: • Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. • Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. • Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. • Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol. • Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall. • Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use. More facts can be found at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/special-populations-co-occurring-disorders/college-drinking


Think Before you drink.

Paying your bill and closing out the tab is one of the last steps for both patrons and staff.

Macy Manning, server, sweeps up the mess left behind by customers, in some cases, that includes their dignity.

Don’t Be a Statistic, be the rule. When you first come to college it’s the freedom you never had during high school. It means no parents, no curfew, no rules, and the ability to do whatever you want—for most college students that means unlimited drinking. The problem with unlimited drinking is that it can distract or deter you for the reason you are there in the first place. Drinking is a traditional way for college students to let off steam brought on by the demands of higher education. However, the consummation of alcohol has transitioned into binge drinking. College is a way of life and drinking is part of your right of passage, however, when handled in irresponsible ways—it can completely change your right of passage. Drink responsible, be responsible, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Hilligan’s is open from 11 am - 2 am everyday.


The BG Daily Booze