BORGs are genius, but college students are not

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There’s only one thing more ubiquitous with the college experience than tuition hikes, and that’s alcohol. Over spring break, I had the unfortunate pleasure of learning what a “BORG” is. The “black-out rage gallon” is the concoction of college students' dreams. You start with a plastic gallon jug of water and dump half of it out. You then fill it back up with some combination of alcohol, flavoring, and electrolyte powder (like Liquid I.V.) or caffeine. This combination dilutes the alcohol flavor while attempting to minimize the effects of hangovers.

While the contents of the BORG are important, drinkers will also name their BORG something relevant to the concoction. While I have never made a BORG (nor do I ever intend to), we like coming up with BORG names. Some of the highlights include: GettysBORG Address, Harrison BORGeron, CheeseBORGer, Ruth Bader GinsBORG, and BORG this way. Start coming up with some names now so you can be the friend that can perfectly name others’ BORGs when they’re struggling.

While I love the naming aspect of BORGs, good Lord people! Please learn how to pace yourselves when drinking and proportion your drinks properly. I’m going to bet that most BORGs have way more alcohol in them than they should. Sure, people are drinking these things over the course of night, but 20 shots is still 20 shots. That’s dangerous!

On the weekend of March 11, a total of 46 University of Massachusetts Amherst students were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, with 28 ambulances being called. I get that this past weekend was Saint Patrick’s Day and spring break for many people, but that’s not an excuse to drink so much you have to go to the hospital. I know it’s asking a lot, but it’s not too hard to measure how much alcohol is going into your BORG.

While BORGs might be dangerous, it can’t be denied that there are some benefits to BORGs. For instance, since you can close a BORG (as it is in a plastic jug), it’s much harder for any contaminants to enter people’s drinks, like when they are in the traditional Red Solo Cup. This includes protection against roofies and other date-rape drugs.

Additionally, if an individual correctly portions their drink, then they will know exactly how much alcohol they have consumed by the end of the night. The water and electrolyte powder in BORGs will also keep the drinker hydrated — a big plus for those who forget to drink water when consuming alcohol. Naming the drink also gives the benefit of making sure people are able to correctly identify their BORG and can potentially provoke conversations with strangers!

Within BORGs is a massive amount of genius and stupidity. College students (and many adults, for that matter) can’t exactly be trusted to consume a “safe” amount of alcohol (though realistically, no amount of alcohol is safe). I can definitely see the benefits over the standard red Solo cup drink, but only when the drinker is careful and isn’t actually trying to black out. So if you’re looking to make a BORG, make sure to come up with a great name and drink responsibly.