Devastating Hurricanes Give Tulane Students a Chance to Reflect on What is Really Important in Life: Getting Trashed

By Paul Sand

Tulanians reevaluate priorities in the wake of disaster

As Hurricane Harvey decimated Houston and sent downpours of biblical proportion to cities and towns throughout the Gulf Coast, Tulane students found themselves trapped in their dorms and homes with nothing to do but sit and think. For many, this period of somber reflection led to the same conclusion: “Let’s drink ourselves into a coma that lasts until the rain stops.”

As soon as the ominous forecast came out, students with foresight began to line up outside grocery stores in preparation for the storm. They stockpiled beer, vodka and Mad Dog, ensuring that they would not be caught unprepared by the Category 4 hurricane. Many of those who did not plan ahead courageously braved life-threatening conditions in order to pick up much needed alcohol for themselves and their friends.

From freshman in Monroe to seniors on Calhoun, Tulane students announced as a collective: “This storm will not stop us. Though it may bend our will, it shall never break us. We will get hammered and we will not look back.”

As the storm moved on before eventually fizzling out, the Tulane community got a chance to take a look at what it left in its wake. The numbers were inspiring. 5,986 students got drunk during the storm, with 274 blacking out and 87 requiring medical assistance. Additionally, 36 students puked on their roommates, 54 contracted sexually transmitted diseases and four babies were accidentally conceived. All in all, Tulane responded to the threat of Hurricane Harvey with one of the most prolific binge-drinking weekends in a decade, filling hospital beds and filling our hearts with pride.

Although the statistics tell some of the story, the first person accounts of that weekend remain the most poignant and striking.

Sophomore Andrew Daugherty of Nebraska described his first experience with a hurricane in a moving testimonial posted to his Facebook page early in the morning the day after classes were cancelled due to flooding.

“This hurricane is lit lol,” began Daugherty. “Haven’t been this trashed on a Monday morning since Mardi. JK but like seriously one more day off would be kinda clutch Harvey. Just sayin.”

Stories like Daugherty’s helped renew hope to a reeling community. A day later, many on campus remained unsure of whether or not it was safe to discard their extra alcohol and return to their normal routines. One group of students went above and beyond by starting a service organization that would take unused liquor and redistribute it to those who were unable to get drunk during the storm. Thanks to their valiant efforts, and the quiet heroism of many Tulane students, we can all rest easy knowing that no one had to go to sleep sober throughout this trying ordeal.

CurrentLara Miloslavsky