OkSOBERfest: Being safe for holiday season

Photo courtesy of Katelynn Trout

The Office of Health Promotions held okSOBERfest on Thursday, Oct. 21 from 1-3 p.m. in room 320 in the Lowman Student Center. Students were able to come in and experience an informative exercise on spreading alcohol awareness and possible dangers.

Health Education Specialist Taylor Dusek, who specializes in alcohol and drugs, helped run the event.

“We have several different activities to focus on different areas of alcohol education,” Dusek said. “We have a DWI simulator, we’ve got hand-eye coordination and we also have the UPD out here.”

The event gave many opportunities to learn what alcohol and other drug substances can do to your body and mental abilities if used in an uncontrolled manner. There were also many types of goggles to help simulate how it would be if one were under the influence. Completing tasks such as fastening a seat belt or playing cornhole were tested while wearing these goggles.

Ben Smith with Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Division brought his team to showcase their project called Watch UR BAC, which refers to blood alcohol content. The project is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation, which focuses on traffic safety and impairment in driving aspects.

 “We’ve been invited to join the Bearkats today to remind people of the risks and dangers associated with alcohol and drugs,” Smith said. “We have a lot of different resources to help get people’s attention and educate.”

Smith and his team brought a simulator to have students pretend to drive on a video game while wearing the impairment goggles and attempt to do small tasks such as stop at a red light or make a turn in the game without crashing.

“Everybody on the simulator ends up crashing, going off-road or both,” Smith said “Through this exercise, people realize that alcohol leads to dangerous driving. Dangerous driving too often leads to crashes, and that too often leads to serious injuries and or fatalities.”

The event was meant to show students, especially in college environments, how important it is to be responsible for your safety and be educated on what can happen when under the influence of any harmful substance.

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