ARE YOU AWARE?
November 1, 2010 —
Campuses across the nation observed National Collegiate Awareness Week to confront the high risk for drinking related problems that adults 18-29 can experience.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, young adults ages 18-29 are at the highest risk for alcohol problems. This is the same age range that most students spend at college.
Alcohol awareness is a yearlong effort at SVSU.
Merry Jo Brandimore, vice president of Student Affairs, acknowledged that negative connotations with alcohol can make some people uncomfortable.
“Some students don’t want to be exposed to [alcohol],” she said.
Counseling Services are involved in the education of students on the dangers of alcohol, and student counselors are available to speak with those having issues with it.
While the Peer Health Education Network advises campuses to set aside one week, SVSU’s interest in keeping students aware does not fade.
Jennifer Ordway, assistant director of the Student Counseling Center, said the topic of alcohol is important and “it needs more than just one week.” Events and presentations last beyond this one week and offer informative information, events and presentations throughout the semester.
One recent event was the Monster Mash, which was Friday in the Student Activities Room. At this event students could take part in fun activities, including making caramel apples, decorating pumpkins and enjoying “mocktails,” which are nonalcoholic drinks.
During the Battle of the Valleys weekend, there will be a tailgating event. At this event students can enjoy all the fun activities of tailgating and socializing with friends without drinking.
“We will have a huge pot luck, with games, music and fun,” says Angela Meyer, Peer Health Educator.
Meyer also hoped students would show support for having sober fun.
“Anyone who is part of our tailgate and remains sober is also going to receive a T-shirt.”
Guest speakers are another large part of student alcohol awareness. A recent guest speaker on teen substance abuse spoke about how alcohol affects the development of the brain. This event was attended by many student athletes as part of their requirements to play sports. However, these programs are not just for atheletes, because anyone who is a student can participate in them.
“There is always a lot going on and plenty of activities to get involved in,” said Ordway, “It’s up to students to make that first step.”
Ordway also encouraged students to check out other events that peer health educators host, including such topics as stress management, have strong ties to alcohol awareness and tend to relate closely to information provided through the alcohol awareness curriculum.