Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

UCSD’s god of debauchery

Fighting booze with booze, UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla considers a “bear [sic] garden.”
Fighting booze with booze, UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla considers a “bear [sic] garden.”

In the crosstown rivalry between UCSD and San Diego State University, one thing has always been seen as certain: SDSU is the town’s premier hard drinking party school, as attested to over many years by authorities including Playboy. But that easy assumption is now in question, based on word that UCSD’s annual Sun God Festival may be cancelled after this year by chancellor Pradeep Khosla because the giant annual campus party held each May has become a dangerously drunken debauch.

“Health and safety problems associated with Sun God have increased significantly in the last two years,” says a report of the Sun God Festival Task Force set up last year by Khosla, “with marked increases in students entering the on-campus detox center and being transported to area hospital emergency departments.” The report’s tally is grim: “In 2012 there were 21 recorded medical transports, both inside and outside the venue; in 2013 this increased by 129% for a total of 48 recorded medical transports.” In addition, “In 2012 there were a total of 95 arrests at Sun God; in 2013 this increased by 54% and a total of 146 were arrested at Sun God.” In short, Sun God has a problem.

This being the University of California, a specialist from out of state has been retained to make the final diagnosis and offer possible cures. “An internationally recognized expert on alcohol abuse among college students, Dr. Kim Fromme, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, is serving as the task force consultant. Dr. Fromme spent a full day on campus in late September, and is scheduled to return in February.”

Among Fromme’s ideas: don’t use “scare tactics” because “they do not work (e.g., crash scenes).” Instead, the university could “saturate” the campus with, among other things, “‘Perfect buzz’ info (if one drinks, how to drink to a buzz but not drunkenness).” The task force also suggested fighting booze with booze: “Consider [a] “Bear garden” (sic) event adjacent to the Sun God venue, where students over 21 years old could purchase beer during the event. We recognize this may be controversial, but students from the I-House/Village area gave feedback that they would consider not having parties at their residence if they knew they could drink somewhere else.”

If such permissiveness fails, says the task force, it may be time to call out the cops, as has the city’s other august institution of higher learning. “San Diego State University used to have significant issues related to overconsumption of alcohol on its campus. Over the past couple of years, they have focused on maximum enforcement of campus policies at the beginning of the year to let students know that policies will be enforced. This policy has led to a decrease in alcohol abuse and the health and safety risks associated with it. We recommend analyzing whether such a strategy would be effective here at UC San Diego.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What makes a home in San Diego

Cedar fire, wary of Clairemont, rooming with my son in North Park, last vacant beachfront lots, building paradise above Rancho Santa Fe
Fighting booze with booze, UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla considers a “bear [sic] garden.”
Fighting booze with booze, UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla considers a “bear [sic] garden.”

In the crosstown rivalry between UCSD and San Diego State University, one thing has always been seen as certain: SDSU is the town’s premier hard drinking party school, as attested to over many years by authorities including Playboy. But that easy assumption is now in question, based on word that UCSD’s annual Sun God Festival may be cancelled after this year by chancellor Pradeep Khosla because the giant annual campus party held each May has become a dangerously drunken debauch.

“Health and safety problems associated with Sun God have increased significantly in the last two years,” says a report of the Sun God Festival Task Force set up last year by Khosla, “with marked increases in students entering the on-campus detox center and being transported to area hospital emergency departments.” The report’s tally is grim: “In 2012 there were 21 recorded medical transports, both inside and outside the venue; in 2013 this increased by 129% for a total of 48 recorded medical transports.” In addition, “In 2012 there were a total of 95 arrests at Sun God; in 2013 this increased by 54% and a total of 146 were arrested at Sun God.” In short, Sun God has a problem.

This being the University of California, a specialist from out of state has been retained to make the final diagnosis and offer possible cures. “An internationally recognized expert on alcohol abuse among college students, Dr. Kim Fromme, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, is serving as the task force consultant. Dr. Fromme spent a full day on campus in late September, and is scheduled to return in February.”

Among Fromme’s ideas: don’t use “scare tactics” because “they do not work (e.g., crash scenes).” Instead, the university could “saturate” the campus with, among other things, “‘Perfect buzz’ info (if one drinks, how to drink to a buzz but not drunkenness).” The task force also suggested fighting booze with booze: “Consider [a] “Bear garden” (sic) event adjacent to the Sun God venue, where students over 21 years old could purchase beer during the event. We recognize this may be controversial, but students from the I-House/Village area gave feedback that they would consider not having parties at their residence if they knew they could drink somewhere else.”

If such permissiveness fails, says the task force, it may be time to call out the cops, as has the city’s other august institution of higher learning. “San Diego State University used to have significant issues related to overconsumption of alcohol on its campus. Over the past couple of years, they have focused on maximum enforcement of campus policies at the beginning of the year to let students know that policies will be enforced. This policy has led to a decrease in alcohol abuse and the health and safety risks associated with it. We recommend analyzing whether such a strategy would be effective here at UC San Diego.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Gordon Parks’ Batman and Robin crimebusters

The old guard doesn’t cotton to being upstaged by a pair of rookies
Next Article

San Diego Ritz Carlton greases the political skids

Sempra's covid donations run out
Comments
2

I guess they are waiting to be sued when some kid doesn't make it back alive from the "on-campus de-tox center" before they get serious about monitoring alcohol bingeing on UCSD premises. How much was the contract for that out-of-state consultant?

April 3, 2014

Also, you should have used a photo of the Nikki Sainte-Phalle "Sun God" sculpture. It's beautiful.

April 3, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close