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Cold can't freeze Miami nightlife

By Dana Humen
On February 16, 2014

This upcoming week is predicted to bring temperatures up to 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which will feel like summer compared to the snow and negative temperatures Oxford has been experiencing for the past few weeks.

Although the weather led to canceled classes several days in a row at the beginning of the semester, many Miami students have yet to let the cold hinder their weekend routines.

Dressed in extra layers and making use of rides and taxi services, students are still braving the single-digit temperatures to head Uptown or to off-campus parties.

During warmer months, Miami students are known to dress up more when going out-girls wearing dresses or skirts and boys wearing button down shirts, but recently junior Katie Marks wears pants or leggings when going out in the cold and will usually wear a Northface jacket as well.

 "It's so cold right now that no one cares [what you wear]," Marks said.

Aside from Brick Street Bar and Grille, many of the other popular bars do not offer any sort of official coat check. This causes most women to leave their parkas at home in exchange for lighter jackets or sweatshirts, while men opt for wearing vests or layers.

Along with changing the way they dress, many students are also relying on different methods of getting Uptown or to parties.

"I get rides when I can, or taxis if there's enough people," first-year Jake Stefan said.

While students tend to spend more weekends inside during the winter months, those students who choose to go out face greater health risks when mixing alcohol with the freezing temperatures. Assistant to the Director of Student Wellness Rebecca Baudry said drinking in winter weather can be even more dangerous than it would be otherwise, as the alcohol may prevent one from realizing that their body is becoming too cold.

"Alcohol dilates your blood vessels so when you first start drinking, you may feel like it's making you warmer because the blood is closer to the surface of the skin, but really you're lowering your core body temperature so you're actually losing more body heat," Baudry said.

Baudry explained that the concept of "drinking yourself a beer blanket" actually puts one at greater risk because the flushing warmth that is felt is actually the body rapidly losing heat. Prolonged exposure to the cold can ultimately lead to frostbite or hypothermia, and in extreme cases, death.

In order to prevent possible health risks when going out in the cold, Baudry suggested creating a plan ahead of time to figure out rides, wearing warm clothing such as a coat and gloves and overall limiting the amount of alcohol consumed.

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