03/27/2014 09:01 am ET Updated Mar 27, 2014

When Chicken Sandwiches Beat Booze On Campus

Boston Globe via Getty Images

Late one weekend night six or seven years ago, local police rushed to the Saint Michael’s College campus in Vermont to check out a report of a large gathering. They started breaking up the party but found that, to everyone’s surprise, the source of ruckus was not a keg stand or game of beer pong, but a table of immensely popular chicken patty sandwiches.
The mix-up bode well for officials at the Vermont liberal arts college, who’d cooked up the weekend barbecue idea as a way to minimize alcohol-related incidents and keep an eye on students who may have had too much to drink. On any given Friday or Saturday night, one-third to nearly half of the college’s 2,000 students show up during prime partying hours to hang out with campus staff and fill up on alcohol-absorbing hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken sandwiches. (Yes, they have veggie burgers as well. "In Vermont, you kind of have to," Saint Michael’s President John Neuhauser says.)

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