Alcohol and Drug Summit Coming Friday

The Sam Houston State University Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiation will be hosting the annual Alcohol and Drug Summit on September 18th. ADAI coordinator Edward Gisemba says the goal of the summit is to spread awareness of the risks that are associated with the use of drugs and alcohol.

The Summit will take place on the third floor of the Lowman Student Center in several different meeting rooms. Events will be taking place all throughout the day on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it is come and go. This event will be free to all SHSU students and community members.

The ADAI will be offering a free lunch and several door prizes, such as a Roku, Chromecast, and Bluetooth speaker, to students that attend the event. Students who also attend the Keynote speaker event will have the opportunity to win a textbook scholarship for the spring semester. Several professors are offering extra credit to students who attend.

“There’s a very long list of outcomes that compromise student health, safety, or success,” Gisemba said.  For some students these harmful outcomes can mean getting in trouble with the police or the Dean of Students.  For others it can mean getting into fights with friends or not doing as well in school.  The worst of these outcomes is members of our community can die.”

Unfortunately, that was the case in December 2013 when three SHSU students were killed in an alcohol related car accident the day before commencement. The ADAI hopes to educate students to further avoid devastating accidents that involve drugs and alcohol.

When asked what students can expect to experience at the Summit, Gisemba thinks all students could feel impacted.

“No matter where they are now in regards to what they know about alcohol and drugs, they can expect to learn something new.”

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative wants students to be aware of the destruction that a party culture can have on the community.

“Our message to students isn’t to not party or drink, but rather to consciously make decisions to reduce the chances of harm if you do.”

Gisemba also hopes that students attending the summit will encourage their peers to make decisions in a SAFER manner; Safe, Assertive, Functional, Educated, Responsible.

In the United States, there are roughly 2,000 deaths annually that result from drug and alcohol related accidents on college campuses alone. From December 2013 to present there have been four reported deaths in the SHSU student community from drug and alcohol related incidents.

“Despite enforcement of our alcohol and drug policies through the Dean of Students’ Office and Residence Life, there were about 130 alcohol or drug-related incidents addressed by UPD”, Gisemba said.

However, this estimate is said to be on the low end of the spectrum due to the Huntsville Police Department responding to certain situations.

“The incidents include public intoxication, DUI/DWIs, drug possession, violent assault, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Note that many of these incidents compromise health and safety of community members.”

These events, if reported to the university, can lead to suspension and/or expulsion depending on the severity of the incident.

The ADAI hopes to educate and promote safety among the Bearkat community to avoid the consequences that accompany reckless decision-making.

“Some of the faculty/staff that planned the event have seen the party aspect of college compromise the well-being of our classmates in the past,” Gisemba said. “We’re hoping for history to no longer repeat itself in this regard.”

The ADAI will have numerous door prizes, ample amounts of information, and will be available to all SHSU students with questions on drug and alcohol consumption.

When making the decision to use drugs and alcohol, remember to think of the result of not only your own safety, but that of your peers and your community.



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