Addressing controversy

Last week, I wrote an opinion column for The Dakota Student that caused a bit of controversy.

What was meant to simply be a guide for how to party safely caused some people to believe that I was promoting binge-drinking and casual sex; two things that can be dangerous if done excessively without self-control. A few people have sent letters to our Editor-in-Chief, Carrie Sandstrom expressing their concern with my column so I figured I should share my side of the story.

First of all, college students generally like to party. This is true all over the country and UND is no exception. Drinking and casual sex don’t need to be promoted here. They’re popular enough activities already. I doubt that will change any time soon and it’s because of that, that I have trouble believing our student body will listen if we tell them not to do those things.

Secondly, I’ve seen firsthand how much safer a “dangerous” activity can become when self-control is practiced. I believe our student body is much more likely to listen to me if I encourage self-control rather than complete abstinence, and that’s exactly what I was trying to do when I wrote my column last week.

I’m not here to pretend to be 100% clean. I’ve been drunk at parties before. I’ve had casual sex and “friends with benefits” before. The reason I never got into any dangerous situations though, is because of my self-control. The reason some people do get into dangerous situations with alcohol and sex is because they don’t have self-control.

I always made sure to eat a full meal before drinking. I stopped drinking when I reached my limit and I drank water after that to avoid dehydration. I never drank and drove and I never had casual sex while drunk.

When I did have casual sex, I was always sober. I was taking daily birth control pills that I got from the Student Health Center behind the Memorial Union and I insisted that the guy always wore a condom. Also, I’m not religious so “staying pure” was never something I felt I needed to prioritize.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years and one of the reasons why we get along so well is because he’s just like me: he loves to party but has awesome self-control skills that keep him out of trouble. We have sex frequently but it doesn’t define our relationship; sex is simply one of many activities we like to do together. He never pressures me either; it’s actually me who suggests it fairly often.

I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve ever done with alcohol or sex. If anything, I’m proud of myself for how well I’ve handled activities that supposedly make me a troublemaker. I’ve seen way too many other UND students get punished due to their lack of self-control and that taught me what not to do, “don’t be that girl.”

I’ll be graduating from UND in December without having ever gotten a DUI, minor-in-consumption, STD, unplanned pregnancy, a prison sentence or any other severe form of punishment. Good luck finding me on UND Passouts–I can’t even find me on there. I mentioned this in my column and I’ll say it again here: this isn’t because of luck, it’s because I practiced self-control.