The drinking game “Dunkaroo” and its growing popularity on the University of Dayton campus have school officials and some students concerned.
According to Debra Monk, the associate dean of students and director of Community Standards and Civility, “Dunkaroo” involves one person lifting another person by his or her legs and dunking their head into a cooler of ice water. When the individual’s face turns numb and they can no longer hold their breath, they must remove their head from the water and immediately shotgun a beer.
Monk said her department became aware of this activity within the past week and is shocked by its presence on campus.
“I have been dealing with student conduct for about 18 years, and this is the first time I have felt panicked by an activity,” Monk said. “My reaction is so strong because it is so dangerous.”
Clare Dever, the assistant dean of students and director of Community Wellness Services, also expressed her alarm regarding the game and said she didn’t understand why students choose to participate.
“It is extremely risky,” Dever said. “Inherent risks associated with this behavior leave us asking the question ‘Why?’ It puts people in danger, and playing it will have no positive results.”
Vernique Coleman-Stokes, an independently licensed chemical dependency counselor, stressed that while “Dunkaroo” and other drinking games may be a way of socializing with peers, they have serious potential consequences.
“When engaging in competitive drinking games, students typically do not keep track of their drinks,” Coleman-Stokes said. “Alcohol may impair their judgment, and they may have high BAC levels. High-risk drinking has been associated with but not limited to: injuries, memory loss, alcohol poisoning and death.”
In addition to health hazards, students participating in “Dunkaroo” are in violation of UD’s community standards and could face consequences ranging from probation and alcohol counseling to more serious penalties.
“If students were documented playing “Dunkaroo,” they would be charged with violation of safety and security and alcohol abuse,” Monk said. “They would be placed on probation, but only if they had not violated similar community standards in the past. Punishment for participating in the activity would be based off of the student’s history, ultimately.”
While academic repercussions could result from participating in this activity, Dever and Monk wanted to explain that health and wellness is the university’s primary concern, not punishment.
“We just want to prevent anyone from getting hurt,” Dever said. “We know students drink, but we just want them to do it safely.”
Some students share the same sentiment of school officials regarding “Dunkaroo.”
Colleen Duggan, a junior industrial engineering major, understood why students would want to participate in the game, but still thought it was far too dangerous.
“From what I understand, it seems pointless,” Duggan said. “I feel like the only thing you can get out of it would be bragging rights, but those don’t even seem worth it. This is definitely not my idea of fun.”
For more information about safe alcohol consumption and other wellness topics, visit udayton.edu/studev/wellness/.