Don’t drink and drive. Drive sober or get pulled over. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
Most people have heard at least one of these slogans, but this coming week will bring them to the headlines. October 20-26 is National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, meaning over 1,000 colleges and universities in the US will be participating in a weeklong attempt to shed light on alcohol abuse and impaired driving incidences. When alcohol awareness is brought up as a topic of discussion, it is often difficult to find relevant ways to communicate the pervasive issue to college students.
Only four years ago, the infamous Jamie Foxx song glamorized blaming poor decisions on alcohol consumption, and Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” arrived on the charts, bragging lines such as “Ain’t got a care in world, but got plenty of beer.” In a society where risky behavior and questionable choices are advocated by the media, it can be frustrating and difficult to figure out which stance to take.
Conveniently poised right before many Halloween festivities, this week seeks to educate college students about the risks of drinking, including health repercussions, social stigmas, behavioral consequences, and physical danger.
College is certainly a time to be bold, take chances, try new things, but it is also important to remember that those decisions have an impact on the future. There is a responsibility that comes with the choice to consume alcohol. This impacts not just the individual, but also everyone around that individual. Millersville University maintains a “responsible use” policy on campus, which requires any alcohol on or within the vicinity of campus-affiliated property to have been approved by the VP of Student Affairs or designee.
Millersville Health and Counseling Services offers the following statistics:
21% of MU students never used alcohol. 65% of MU students had 0-4 drinks the last time they partied or socialized. 99% of MU students used risk reduction strategies when drinking.
To promote Alcohol Awareness Week, students and student-led groups are encouraged to decorate their windows, doors, and offices this week with points awarded to the winning submissions.
On Tuesday Oct. 22, the Washington House hosted Car Crash, an event that will feature a realistic depiction of a car accident resulting from drinking and driving. There will also be mock sobriety tests from 12-3 p.m. Thursday evening, from 7-9 pm, will feature a return of PONG, a remake of the classic pong game using a root beer keg in place of alcohol. In the SMC MPR, there will also be games, Greek life activities, music, and more.
Millersville’s counseling service is free to all students who are interested in helping himself or herself or anyone that they know who struggles with alcohol abuse. They welcome anyone who expresses interest. The school’s website also provides excellent information regarding alcohol consumption and responsible decisions involving alcohol. For more information regarding National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, check out the BACCHUS Network online.
Frank Warren, founder of the community mail art project known as PostSecret, sagely once said, “Be wise enough not to be reckless, but brave enough to take great risks.”