1Campus health officials are panicking, as a rise in hand sanitizer consumption among freshmen unable to secure a liquor plug threatens to wipe out the university’s entire supply.
Administrators blamed the rise in student desperation on the partial shutdown of Allston parties, which has left incoming freshmen worryingly sober and frustratingly coherent. To fill the void, many have begun guzzling 120-proof Purell straight from the dormitory pumps.
“It’s a slow process, having to drink it squirt-by-squirt, and the thickness definitely takes some getting used to,” said Lewis Huey (ENG ’24), already four pumps in. “But at least a machine won’t ditch me for some girl he just met after I already paid him for a handle of Rubinoff.”
While the new drink’s sudden popularity caught administrators by surprise, public health experts say the school should have anticipated students’ need to relax at any cost.
“I was telling them all summer, you’ve got to add sanitizer to the AlcoholEdu curriculum,” said Carrill Lynch, a professor of Infectious Disease at the School of Public Health. “How can we expect these kids, victims really, to limit their intake and make rational decisions if they don’t even know how many squirts are in a Standard Drink?”
The first-years’ easy access to sanitizer also has a number of upperclassmen concerned.
“This was going to be my year,” said Resident Assistant Carrie McCoy (QST ’21), who had planned on supplementinLibraryg her parents’ allowance by selling shots of watered-down vodka to her lonely Warren Towers residents.
Now, the young entrepreneur said she will have to resort to tampons soaked in Germ-X, which take longer to prepare and have a much lower profit-margin.
In addition to disrupting the campus’ liquor economy, experts are warning that consuming straight Purell may have adverse effects on student health. So far, nearly three dozen students have been hospitalized after consuming dangerous amounts of sanitizer, but health officials said it’s not all bad.
“Hospitalizations are no doubt a tragedy, but there is a silver lining,” Lynch said. “For a brief period, as their bodies absorbed the Purell, from an infection standpoint, those students may have been the safest people on campus.”