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Students say there’s less pressure to drink

May 13,2019
The drinking culture on university campuses in Korea has changed over the past decade to show more respect toward fellow students.

According to a survey conducted by Diageo Korea, university students today show more respect toward fellow students when drinking alcoholic beverages. Unlike 10 years ago, when students felt they were often forced to drink regardless of whether they wanted to or not, students today said they hardly feel such pressure.

The survey was conducted in April by Diageo Korea and Univ. Tomorrow’s 20s Lab on 800 people - 400 were aged between 29 and 38 while the other 400 were aged between 19 and 28. The survey was part of Diageo Korea’s effort to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Cool Drinker campaign, conducted to encourage safe drinking among university students.

Diageo is a liquor company that has Johnnie Walker and Baileys under its arm.

When asked whether a culture of forcing drinking existed on campus, 41.8 percent of people who went to university 10 years ago said it did, while only 11.8 percent of students who attend university today agreed. Among current university students, 57 percent of participants said they don’t feel coercion to drink alcoholic beverages at all.

The common expressions used by university seniors to liven up the drinking atmosphere have also shifted. While the most common remark to junior students a decade ago was “Are you not drinking up?” (35 percent), followed by “Control your drinking” (29.8 percent) and “There’s a lot of time until the last train” (15.8 percent), the most frequent remark today is “Control your drinking” (52.3 percent).

While 56.8 percent of the older group of respondents admitted to having drunk enough to completely lose control, only 32.8 percent of current students said they had.

The drink most commonly enjoyed by university students hasn’t changed - soju - but its popularity has fallen. Among former students, soju received 53.5 percent of the vote, falling to 37.8 percent of current students. Imported beers had notably increased from 2.5 percent for the older group to 12.5 percent today.

“We have been putting in effort to raise the need to drink responsibly to university students who start to access alcoholic beverages and build their drinking habits, as well as [other people] who have lots of chances to drink,” said a spokesperson for Diageo Korea.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]