With homecoming week in the rearview mirror, this week ushers in the issue of alcohol awareness among students as the Sam Houston State University Alcohol Abuse Initiative attempts to educate students about the dangers of alcohol.
This year, Associate Health and Kinesiology professor Rosanne Keathley said the event will focus on “Smart Kats, Smart Choices.”
“We’re continuing with education of students about alcohol,” Keathley said. “We’re doing a lot of small but significant stuff.”
Yesterday marked the beginning of a series of workshops and informational forums, hosted by AAI in conjunction with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week, in which students can learn about the wide range of alcohol dangers. The week’s events cover nearly every issue surrounding alcohol, from the disparities of drinking between cultures to the part the media and society play in drinking.
“We want to provide education and skill building opportunities for better decision making,” SHSU Health Programming Coordinator Michelle Lovering said.
One event that draws a large number of students each year is the beer goggles challenge. In order to experience first-hand the effects of getting drunk, students are given a pair of beer goggles that distort vision to create the effect of drunkenness. This year, the goggles will be brought out not once, but twice. Students can experience the popular activity today in the LSC mall area from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to the AAI flier, students will be educated about the dangers of mixing alcohol and sex and may also receive free condoms.
Students can experience the goggles again tonight in a challenge at the Recreational Sports Rock Wall in the HKC. During the challenge, which will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., students can climb the rock wall for free with or without the goggles to win prizes. Students will also be able to enjoy free “mocktails” throughout the event.
On Wednesday, an informational session will be held in which students can learn about the physical effects of alcohol. According to the flier, students will be educated on common ideas about alcohol, such as the belief that vomiting leads to sobriety and the elimination of alcohol from the body. The session, usually conducted by a university science professor, focuses on common myths about alcohol and the body and ways to avoid falling into myths such as these.
The members of AAI hope to draw the most students with an informational session on the new I-Drive Designated Driver Incentive Program at Bearkat Alley on Thursday.
“The new program is really exciting,” Lovering said. “We’ll let the students know what they can expect out of the program during the tailgating before the game, and then [the program] will be recognized at halftime with President Gaertner.”
Through the program, designated drivers will identify themselves upon entering an establishment in town and will be given a orange wristband and orange cup to mark their status. Using the wristband, the student will be able to get free non-alcoholic drinks all night. After the wristband is cut off, the student will be able to write their name on it and enter it into a monthly drawing at the bar or restaurant. According to Keathley, the plan has already gone over well with area establishments.
“We’ve already had several businesses in town agree to the program,” Keathely said. “And we’re also talking with county officials about extended drinking hours to keep kids from drinking and driving.”