futureapppsy2

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Why or why not? I was thinking about this recently, as people were talking about if they would or wouldn't drink with their advisors or other faculty (at conferences, but I'm curious in general).
 
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psychrat

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I would have a cocktail if out to dinner with the lab and my mentor or maybe a glass of wine at a gathering, but probably not more than two drinks, but I have stricter boundaries than some :)
 

WisNeuro

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I did. Lab parties, conferences. I'll have a beer or two with my postdocs here and there as well. Group settings though.
 
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futureapppsy2

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I did. Lab parties, conferences. I'll have a beer or two with my postdocs here and there as well. Group settings though.
Just curious--what kind of parties were these lab parties? I've heard of everything from "sitting around awkwardly with a plate of food" to "come to my house and I'll make you dinner and margaritas" to "everyone doing shots and dancing."
 
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I worked in a department of neuropsychology during my master's and we would all get together for holidays at one of the neuropsychologist's house. Some of the other students and psychometrists in the office would get "interesting." I remember one time we all went out to a Mexican place to celebrate one of the Ph.D. student's successful dissertation defense, the psychometrist there who trained me got really really drunk on sangria and would flirt it up with my husband, mind you, it was a woman who did this. :p Personally, I would, I am a big guy, so I know I could kick back at least 3 beers within a 1 hour time frame and be fine.
 

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My master's program had a big yearly party catered by the head of the program at their house each fall. We also ended up going out for a big end of the year celebration most years with at least one faculty member, typically after our last class of the semester at a bar within walking distance of the university. As others had said, no one went too crazy, but it was not uncommon to have a couple of drinks socially.
 

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It was fairly commonplace at my program, although certainly not a weekly or even monthly thing. We would have departmental holiday parties a couple times/year, the occasional post-supervision or post-lab meeting happy hour, and the occasional get together (usually involving food) at my advisor's house.
 
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Yeah, we would have end of year lab parties at faculty mentor's house with margaritas and sangria. We also had a yearly football tailgate event where students and faculty would mingle and drink together. At conferences I tended to hang out with other students afterwards. That was about the extent of drinking/socializing between students and faculty though.
 

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My advisor bought myself and a labmate a beer when he ran into us at the Clapton concert my first semester of grad school.

I even drank with faculty as an undergrad (after age 21). Maybe I've just had good luck with regards to the folks I've been affiliated with, but its always been quite normal for faculty to have a "holiday party" for the lab at their home where alcohol is served, invite folks out for the occasional happy hour to celebrate something, get a group together to go out for dinner/drinks at conferences, etc. Department functions have often had alcohol at them. Heck, my internship occasionally provided wine during our late afternoon seminars. Obviously this is all very different from going clubbing til 3AM with just you and a faculty member, but it all seems well within the bounds of normal professional social activities in psychology or any other field.
 

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...but it all seems well within the bounds of normal professional social activities in psychology or any other field.
I agree. No one on here posted it (though I assume it was the impetus for the thread), but there's a lot of weird reactions to this kind of thing in our field. It always seemed to me like overgeneralizing from client work.
Just do the normal professional behavior (pull the drink for a long time, obviously don't get drunk, etc.).
 
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I personally don't drink alcohol, but have always enjoyed the social occasions throughout my training. Except for the first party I went to in the doctoral program that was thrown by a classmate who was a bit immature and it felt a bit too much like a frat party. One of the best occasions was a birthday party for a classmate that was at a combo ice skating/roller skating place. We had a lot of fun that evening.

When I was doing a practicum at a VA the training director had a xmas party for all the psychology people and there was alcohol served. The only inappropriate moment was when a psychologist made a little kid cry during the white elephant gift exchange. She wanted the kids gift, so she took it from him. I am pretty sure that she wasn't drinking either, she was just a mean-a$$ woman. Me and my wife still laugh about that one.
 

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Why or why not? I was thinking about this recently, as people were talking about if they would or wouldn't drink with their advisors or other faculty (at conferences, but I'm curious in general).
In my program you were an outlier if you didn't drink with the faculty. We had several program-wide social events each year, and as far as I can recall there was always beer, wine, and the occasional margarita machine. For a while my lab had its own monthly happy hour (attended by our faculty member). Of course, it was an unspoken expectation that everyone should drink in moderation, or at least be inconspicuous. At conferences, I've seen a much wider range of behavior, to put it politely.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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From the faculty/staff point of view…we have a few semi-annual occasions used for socializing and having some drinks (e.g. holiday party, happy hour w. new fellows, etc), though most/all functions are pretty tame and don't run late into the night. For the holiday party we have grad students/research assistants present, though they tend to huddle together in a pack off to the side. :laugh:
 
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We have an annual/bi-annual party at one of the prof's houses, and there's usually a "boat full of beer." I wouldn't say anybody gets truly toasted, but I definitely had a few. I also go to a humanistic university, so getting drunk with these people would probably be pretty tame :p
 
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We have an annual/bi-annual party at one of the prof's houses, and there's usually a "boat full of beer." I wouldn't say anybody gets truly toasted, but I definitely had a few. I also go to a humanistic university, so getting drunk with these people would probably be pretty tame :p
Catholic universities, that's where the heavy drinking occurs. I went to one my first year of undergrad and ended up with a 2.0 average that year mainly because of the free-flowing beer.
:hungover:
 

Chalupacabra

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Catholic universities, that's where the heavy drinking occurs. I went to one my first year of undergrad and ended up with a 2.0 average that year mainly because of the free-flowing beer.
:hungover:
I always thought Catholics were more in to wine.
 

modestmousktr

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Depends on the mentor! I still keep in touch with my mentors from undergrad, and recently attended a 75th birthday party... which was actually pretty wild, haha. A lot of students got obliterated, which was totally fine in that particular setting, as the birthday boy was also quite intoxicated. I was a DD. Now that I think about that, I had gotten drunk with that mentor plenty of times... campus bar, at conferences, etc. Always in a group setting with equally drunk lab members. One lab member totally lost his cookies at an after-party at a conference- it became a silly anecdote and wasn't really a big deal. So, I suppose, partier = okay to party?

My master's degree mentor and I are extremely good friends, frequently going out to hike or eat with other members of the lab, having lab parties at his house, etc. He doesn't drink so I've never really imbibed in front of him, but I would feel comfortable getting pretty tipsy as I feel he wouldn't judge me for anything particularly silly coming out of my mouth due to our history.

My new lab for my Ph.D. program is having a joint lab party with another lab coming up this month, and I don't plan on drinking. I'd like to get a feel for the people I'm working with for the next 5+ years, but also, I'm training pretty hard in a martial art I love and just can't waste the calories, haha.

So anyway, in my experience, it really depends on the precedent set by the mentor themselves.

Just curious--what kind of parties were these lab parties? I've heard of everything from "sitting around awkwardly with a plate of food" to "come to my house and I'll make you dinner and margaritas" to "everyone doing shots and dancing."
Lab Party #1: Thankfully, have not attended yet!
Lab Party #2: My master's advisor
Lab Party #3: Undergrad advisor

So I guess there's all kinds.
 

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I was always the one in grad school who got a bit tipsy at department gatherings. My cohort was a bit of a party cohort and things worked out okay for us. It's who we are and choose to be. I'll throw back some brews, shots, or cocktails with my family, friends, and coworkers. I don't drink and drive (anymore); I show up to work sober and ready to kick ass. I'm still a work hard play hard kinda person that lives by the whole "all things in moderation, including excess." Things have slowed down a bit in recent years, but I think it's fine to drink with faculty if that's what you are comfortable doing.
 

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I was always the one in grad school who got a bit tipsy at department gatherings. My cohort was a bit of a party cohort and things worked out okay for us. It's who we are and choose to be. I'll throw back some brews, shots, or cocktails with my family, friends, and coworkers. I don't drink and drive (anymore); I show up to work sober and ready to kick ass. I'm still a work hard play hard kinda person that lives by the whole "all things in moderation, including excess." Things have slowed down a bit in recent years, but I think it's fine to drink with faculty if that's what you are comfortable doing.
I worry too much about impressions, so I limit myself to 1 drink max, to be social.

I agree that you can be who you want to be... but these are also people who write your reference letters! I'd be too afraid.
 

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Sure. I play on the department softball team with some faculty and we frequently hit the bars after games.
 

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Doing shots with faculty just seems really overboard, especially for the faculty member. What is "social" or "moderate" consumption when it comes to shots? Having a couple of drinks is totally different.
 

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I think it is very inadvisable to "get tipsy," especially repeatedly, at department functions.

I agree that doing shots with faculty is too much. I've never known a purpose of shots other than to get drunk rapidly (or avoid carbs from mixers, I guess).
 
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One of our research teams has a happy hour once a month, where they drink, even do shots with their mentor. They research problematic alcohol use in college students.
How do you get IRB approval for this kind of study where the researchers are the participants? It could be a good research question though. How does problematic ETOH use affect the productivity of grad students?
Here's a little visual representation of what it might look like.
:prof: :hardy: :banana: :mad: :depressed: :vomit: :hungover:
 
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I feel cray cray now after reading all these responses, I've been drunk in front of my mentor and other faculty members and that is totally normal here! As long as you don't make a scene but being drunk and silly is okay. I think our lab/program are mildly inappropriate but I love it :p It also depends on the setting, like if you were hammered at your poster session or something that isn't kosher but the xmas party...okay...lol.
 

MCParent

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I've been drunk in front of my mentor and other faculty members and that is totally normal here! [...] I think our lab/program are mildly inappropriate but I love it :p It also depends on the setting, like if you were hammered at your poster session or something that isn't kosher but the xmas party...okay...lol.
This sounds like trouble (and maybe a lawsuit) waiting to happen.

I seriously doubt that everyone in the lab/program is actually completely comfortable with that kind of thing.
 

WisNeuro

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Yeah, it only takes one dissatisfied party and a litigator, and that situation becomes a cluster**** for all involved.
 

erg923

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I feel cray cray now after reading all these responses, I've been drunk in front of my mentor and other faculty members and that is totally normal here! As long as you don't make a scene but being drunk and silly is okay. I think our lab/program are mildly inappropriate but I love it :p It also depends on the setting, like if you were hammered at your poster session or something that isn't kosher but the xmas party...okay...lol.
Do you think this is professional behavior? I'm referring to both participating parties here...btw.

I'm surprised by this thread actually. While this isn't the military, extensive fraternization with ones supervisors (essentially) simply was not done where I came from. And for very good (clinical and educational) reasons .
 
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A lawsuit? Really? For getting drunk at a party? I mean, if you're the kind of drinker who gets a slight buzz and then starts dancing bottomless on the countertop, maybe.
 

WisNeuro

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A lawsuit? Really? For getting drunk at a party? I mean, if you're the kind of drinker who gets a slight buzz and then starts dancing bottomless on the countertop, maybe.
More complicated than that. One possible consequence has to do with the relatively rare occurrence when a student has to be removed from a program due to a variety of reasons. When there is a blurring of professional and personal lines like this with faculty who have supervisory/evaluative status, they open themselves up to a lot of messy stuff.
 
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MCParent

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A lawsuit? Really? For getting drunk at a party? I mean, if you're the kind of drinker who gets a slight buzz and then starts dancing bottomless on the countertop, maybe.
For someone getting inebriated and sexually harassing someone else. Or any number of other inappropriate actions.
 
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futureapppsy2

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How do you get IRB approval for this kind of study where the researchers are the participants? It could be a good research question though. How does problematic ETOH use affect the productivity of grad students?
Here's a little visual representation of what it might look like.
:prof: :hardy: :banana: :mad: :depressed: :vomit: :hungover:
I actually knew someone who was a grad student in a lab that studied the effects of alcohol on performance, and every few months, the grad students had to get drunk gradually to test the calibration on the BAC monitors (not joking). They made sure they were completely sober before letting them go home, though.

Also, I find it kind of hilarious that this thread went from "pshaw, of course you should drink with faculty! That's so prudish if you don't!" to "never do shots with faculty--that's so inappropriate!
 

WisNeuro

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True, attitudes differ on how much is acceptable. If I were an academic faculty, personally I would err on the conservative side. Seen a couple incidents over the years where people left themselves open a little in the boundaries domain and it's ended up putting them in a sticky situation. As someone who works with a secondary gain/higher rate of suicide/very publicly vocal population, I'm very good about the CYA procedures :)
 

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More complicated than that. One possible consequence has to do with the relatively rare occurrence when a student has to be removed from a program due to a variety of reasons. When there is a blurring of professional and personal lines like this with faculty who have supervisory/evaluative status, they open themselves up to a lot of messy stuff.
Yep. One could also attempt to make the argument that they felt compelled to drink for perceived fear of some kind of retribution, and/or that those who drank were afforded benefits of some kind.

As I mentioned above, some supervisors from my program drank while around students and some did not. There were never any standing/recurring events, though, and I can't ever recall a time when shots were taken. Once or twice students got a bit too tipsy, although some of that involved having been drinking before showing up (e.g., to holiday parties); after an instance or two of this, things wound down quite a bit.

Personally, I don't see it as a problem (in moderation), although I can certainly understand why some supervisors might decide against it.
 
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I actually knew someone who was a grad student in a lab that studied the effects of alcohol on performance, and every few months, the grad students had to get drunk gradually to test the calibration on the BAC monitors (not joking). They made sure they were completely sober before letting them go home, though.

Also, I find it kind of hilarious that this thread went from "pshaw, of course you should drink with faculty! That's so prudish if you don't!" to "never do shots with faculty--that's so inappropriate!
As a non-drinker if I had felt pressured to drink with faculty or supervisors that would have bothered me. It never happened in my program, I think there were only a couple of occasions where alcohol was served and nobody got drunk or applied pressure. Pretty mature and responsible behavior. If they had been doing shots and getting intoxicated, then I would just leave as I don't feel comfortable around people when they begin having impaired judgement. They tend to become obnoxious. If I saw this occurring as a pattern, I would think that it was a problem and imagine it would lead to legal issues down the road as others said. Not much different from my patients who drink too much and too often,money end up with problems too.
 

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It's super normal in my program. I actually got made fun of at a department party for not drinking enough.
 
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