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Dangerous drunken liaisons on Hempstead Turnpike

By Jacquie Itsines, Copy Editor

  Music floods the Hofstra dormitory hallways as students ready themselves for a night out at the bar. Guys slip into jeans and a button-down shirt and douse themselves in cologne as girls scramble to find a see-through shirt that will show off their neon bra. Once all members of a group of bar buddies have an adequate pregame buzz, they walk the less-than-esteemed streets of Hempstead to the bar of choice. They leave late at night and spend the following day attempting to cure an awful hangover with plenty of sleep and an omelet or two from the Student Center.

  Sound familiar? Students consider drinking and partying to be as much of a staple to Hofstra culture as waiting for the Blue Beetle and not getting cell phone service in the basement of Breslin Hall. Conversations that do not involve how wasted one was or plans to be at McHebe's on any given weekend are a rarity. But despite its popularity, Hofstra's bar scene is more dangerous than most students choose to realize.

  Last week, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign released its annual report of the New York. New Jersey, and Connecticut metropolitan region's Most Dangerous Roads for Walking. Topping the list for the fourth year in a row is a road very near, but not so dear, to Hofstra students' hearts: the Hempstead Turnpike.

  According to the report, the streets of Nassau County claimed the lives of 91 pedestrians from 2008 to 2010. The majority of the county's 15 pedestrian deaths that occurred on the Hempstead Turnpike took place in Franklin Square, East Meadow, West Hempstead and Hempstead. The report does not account for pedestrian accidents or injuries, only fatalities.

  Enabling Hofstra students to avoid the dangers of the Hempstead Turnpike are three unispans that connect the residential and academic sides of campus; however, during ventures to and from the bar strip, students tend to ignore the unispans and take to the streets to cross all four of the turnpike's incessantly busy lanes.

  Crossing the tri-state area's most dangerous road at nighttime while heavily intoxicated is one among many vulnerabilities of students who engage in the bar scene. Students understand that Hempstead is by no means a safe neighborhood, and yet they act as though invincible to mugging, assault, vehicular accidents and legal consequences.

  Local weekend hot spots like Nacho Mamma's Rock & Roll Cantina and Bedrock Bar & Grill boast fairly cheap prices and frequent drink specials to better accommodate their clientele of broke college students, a large number of whom are served alcohol while under the age of 21. But does saving a few bucks on a pitcher of beer outweigh the legal consequences of underage drinking? Not quite. If the police ever decide to respond to the obvious illegal activity in Hempstead's college bars, students drinking underage can expect a multi-hundred dollar fine, court fees and possible jail time and license suspension.

  So to all of you Hofstra students who simply cannot bear to spend your Friday nights doing anything other than drinking profuse amounts of cheap alcohol, taking embarrassing pictures and dancing with sweaty strangers - concurrently risking your money, dignity and maybe even your life, please do not bother getting out of bed on Saturday mornings. Campus is much more enjoyable without you roaming around in pajamas and smelling of beer. Cheers!

 

Overheard at Hofstra

Overheard at Hofstra