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College drinking game shows links to Swine Flu

Students play beer pong on Syracuse University campus. The traditional college drinking games has been linked to the spread of the H1N1 virus.

Students play beer pong on Syracuse University campus. The traditional college drinking games has been linked to the spread of the H1N1 virus.

Beer Pong- Another Swine Flu Victim

By Rachel Silver

Syracuse, N.Y. – A longstanding college tradition may be a cause in the spread of swine flu.

Beer pong, a college drinking game, is popular with students on campuses across the country. In the game, players throw ping-pong balls into cups of beer to determine who drinks and continue playing until all of the cups are empty.

But while the game may seem relatively harmless, several schools have connected outbreaks of H1N1 on their campuses to the game.

At Rennsalaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, twenty-one students with confirmed cases of swine flu were said to contract the virus through beer pong, causing the university to send out a message warning students of the potential dangers of the game.

At Syracuse University, the administration took a proactive approach through an advisory sent to off-campus students regarding the health risks of beer pong.

“There is an obvious connection between people exchanging germs through contact with cups and sharing beverages,” said Carol Masiclat, associate director of communications for the Division of Student Affairs. “So obviously if you’re sharing cups and, you know, putting your mouth on common things, it’s possible you could increase you risk of getting sick.”

However, despite the university’s warnings, the majority of SU students, like Ian Chin, remain unconcerned.

“It’s part of the college culture, you know,” said Chin. “It’s fraternities and sororities like playing it, it’s a staple at college parties and, you know, college kids like to, you know, get intoxicated.”

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