University News

Media Update from UMass, Town of Amherst (5 p.m.)

The Town of Amherst and UMass Amherst officials report that activation of regional ambulance support provided prompt and essential service today in response to a significant number of alcohol intoxication cases related to March 4 off-campus student gatherings.

The Amherst Fire Department (AFD) said they handled requests for 28 ambulance transports, prompting mutual aid and a task force activation for additional resources. AFD said none of the cases were life threatening. Students gathered in a number of locations in town and joint planning minimized large-scale disturbances. Amherst Police and UMass Police reported two arrests for underage possession of alcohol and responded to numerous calls for service.

AFD and UMass officials said many students were observed carrying plastic gallon containers, believed to be "borgs" (black out rage gallons, a mix of alcohol, electrolytes and water). In recent weeks, this binge drinking trend has been increasingly depicted on TikTok and seen on college campuses across the country.

UMass officials said this is the first time the university has observed notable use of borgs. They will assess this weekend's developments and consider steps to improve alcohol education and intervention, and communicate with students and families. Currently, all incoming students participate in required education called which includes information about the size of standard drinks, and physiological and medical risks of binge drinking.