Alcohol. It’s the last thing college students want to be lectured or forewarned about, but in reality, nearly 2,000 college students die annually from alcoholrelated incidents; with an additional 696,000 college students becoming assault victims due to alcohol consumption.
In response to the reported abuse of alcohol at the collegiate level, the national student affairs administration organization, NASPA, established National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week is recognized at over 3,000 colleges and universities, and is annually held during the third week in October.
Colleges and universities across the nation participated in this year’s Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, by sponsoring educational programs, activities, and events designed to inform students about the dangers of alcohol. Edinboro University has participated in NCAAW since 2000, and continued the tradition this year by organizing special alcohol awareness presentations, activities, and events.
Among the popular alcohol awareness events Edinboro sponsored was a domestic violence presentation. The special “Town Hall Meeting” was held last Friday in the Pogue Student Center, and was open to students, staff, and the public.
The educational presentation informed audience members of the ongoing issue of dating violence and its relation to alcohol. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 3 million violent crimes, including domestic violence incidents, occur annually; in which the offender is perceived to be under the influence of alcohol.
In addition to presented statistics and the relationship between alcohol and domestic violence, the presentation provided information for various outlets that are devoted to aiding those affected by domestic violence. Also, during the presentation, questions previously submitted by students were answered; the best questions were awarded gift cards to John’s, McDonald’s, CVS and Walmart.
Additionally, throughout the alcohol awareness week, Edinboro University’s Student Health Services and Wellness Peer Educators hosted a special alcohol awareness booth in the Pogue Student Center.
Peer Educators is an on-campus organization “devoted to informing students about controversial topics,” such as alcohol consumption. During the week, the Peer Educators group provided a variety of informative pamphlets and flyers about safely consuming alcohol, and the risks that can come with alcohol, if not enjoyed responsibly.
The Peer Educators president, Eric Bennett, shared that NCAAW is a “significant event held to educate students, especially freshmen, about the risks that can come with consuming alcohol.”
“It’s important to know the facts about alcohol so you protect yourself and others,” said Bennett. Junior Peer Educators member, Braden Docherty, also expressed the importance of educating first time college students on the consequences of underage drinking and safely consuming alcohol.
“People come into college uneducated about how alcohol can affect their lives,” said Docherty. Additionally, Bennett mentioned that it is especially important to promote and recognize NCAAW during this time of the year, between Homecoming and Halloween, when the most partying and heavy drinking occurs.
Both Bennett and Docherty were a part of the Peer Educators group that hosted the alcohol awareness booth at Pogue, and challenged students to a variety of activities. These activities commented on not only alcohol awareness, but also other controversial issues; such as domestic violence and intercourse safety.
The NCAAW booth activities included: challenging students to toss balls into a bucket while wearing vision impairment “beer” goggles, and shoving as many mini-pumpkins into a condom as possible. The unusual activities were intended to grab the attention of students and remind them of the importance of being educated on such complex topics.
“It helps educate students,” said Bennett, regarding the atypical activities.
For more information regarding National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, and the different alcohol-awareness activities conducted throughout the nation, visit choseresponsibility.org.
Macala Leigey is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.