Good ‘RID-dance’ to alcoholism

The Alcohol Abuse Initiative will attempt to RID students of irresponsible drinking habits through a week of educational seminars and displays, as well as encourage students to seek alcohol-free alternatives for fun which began on Monday, Feburary 26.

The third annual Reducing Irresponsible Drinking week kickoff was “all about agriculture,” with students from the agricultural and industrial science department discussing how alcohol is a factor in some agricultural accidents and activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

In addition to the displays about fishing, hunting, farming, and ranching, all of which “can be risky when mixed with alcohol,” the AAI also gave away free root beer in cattle troughs and “even had a few furry guests,” according to Michelle Lovering, AAI member and health programming coordinator with the Student Health Center.

That afternoon, a graduate student from the department educated students on the history of alcohol production and the industry itself at 3:30 p.m. in LSC Room 304.

Tuesday will be filled with “Play It Safe” activities, beginning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with mock field sobriety tests with University Police Department officers and students from the BACCHUS Peer Education Network discussing facts and myths in the LSC Mall Area.

“Students will hopefully see that the officers are kind and comical in person, but all business when it comes to busting drunk drivers,” Lovering said. “Police officers look for close to 100 signs of intoxication when observing field sobriety tests and chances are, if students are pulled over after drinking, the cops will know.

“The best option is to play it safe and always have a designated driver,” she said.

Tuesday night, the AAI will give away RID Week T-shirts to the first 300 students who come through the gates of the Don Sanders Stadium for the “Play It Safe Baseball Night” as the Bearkats take on Rice at 6:30 p.m.

Those students will also be registered for free pizza for themselves and three friends to be served in a suite at the stadium.

Later that night, residents on campus will participate in a “BYOB House Party” in Sam Houston Village and Jackson Shaver for students living on campus.

Those students are “invited to bring their own bowls for free ice cream as they participate in real life scenarios about how partying can lead to unpredictable and long-lasting consequences,” Lovering said. Off-campus students will be invited to the House Party at the Bearkat Village Clubhouse on Wednesday.

Wednesday will kick off with a peer education activity in the LSC Mall Area entitled “99 Bottles of Booze on the Wall,” during which BACCHUS members will discuss the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning, as well as test students’ knowledge of alcohol with quiz questions that are sure to surprise participants.

On Wednesday evening, Norma Sandoval, the mother of SHSU student Noe Sandoval, will tell her son’s “emotional and moving story” during “A Mother’s Worst Nightmare,” at 5 p.m. in LSC Room 320.

“Noe was a fraternity member in 2005 who left a party while intoxicated, attempting to drive with an extremely high blood alcohol concentration,” Lovering said. “He did not make it far before he was involved in a crash that claimed his life.

“Noe was only 19 and tragically, made some bad decisions,” she said.

That night, there will be BYOB House Parties at the Four West Parking Lot and the Bearkat Village Clubhouse. Off-campus students are invited to the Bearkat Village Clubhouse house party only, Lovering said.

The women’s basketball team will be front and center for “Bearkat Shooters,” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the LSC Mall Area.

During the hoops shoot-out with the Alcohol Abuse Initiative court, students “will learn how alcohol can impair their game, no matter what sport they are playing,” and can register to win VIP tickets to a Houston Rockets game, according to Lovering.

“Especially to a trained athlete, one night of partying can affect performance for a week,” she said.

Thursday afternoon, Jeanine Bius, assistant dean in the Dean of Students’ Office, will teach students how to handle drunk friends or friends with drinking problems during an interactive discussion at 3:30 p.m. in LSC Room 320.

“She will help students learn how to say the right thing to their friends to prevent harm, such as how to talk to a friend about problem drinking or how to take the keys away from an intoxicated friend,” Lovering said. “Many students are put in positions to step in a do the right thing, but they lack the skills to get the desired results, so in the group session, Dean Bius will ask students ‘What Would You Say?'”

That evening, students can “Get High” without alcohol at the Recreational Sports Rock Climbing Wall.

From 6-7 p.m., students will be able to try the wall for free during vertical happy hour and enjoy free mocktails after their summit.

Also Thursday night, the Alcohol Abuse Initiative will host halftime activities at the women’s basketball game versus the University of Texas at San Antonio, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Finally, the AAI will celebrate Gen. Sam Houston’s birthday and discuss “Safe 21st Birthday Celebrations” and alternatives to drinking on one’s birthday at 11 a.m. in LSC Room 304.

Students can play blackjack for Alcohol Abuse Initiative prizes and can also enjoy birthday cake during the event.

“The goal of RID Week is to provide a variety of awareness activities to make an impact on the drinking behavior of SHSU students,” Lovering said. “We want students to make responsible, safe, and legal choices when they want to have fun, and choices that will not affect their academic progress.”

For the full schedule of events, visit http://www.shsu.edu/%7Eorg_aai/documents/RIDWeek2007magazine.pdf, or for more information, contact Lovering at (936) 294-4347 or aai@shsu.edu.

There is one comment

  1. Norma L Sandoval

    Michelle Lovering never spoke to me, Noe's mother, about the circumstances of my son's passing. After 17 years, I come across this article. Lovering did not and does not have all the facts. Lovering your statements about Noe lack facts and empathy. Norma Linda Sandoval

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