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Alcohol awareness programs spreadacross campus

Oct. 17, 2000

By AMY RUDY

Reporter

Roughly one person is killed every 22 minutes in the United States as a result of drinking and driving. In addition, drinking and driving is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24.

These statistics, provided by the Health Education and Wellness Office, are just some of the many reasons the Health Education and Wellness Office is sponsoring National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week from Oct. 15 to 21.

The Health Education and Wellness Office will host a week-long Red Ribbon Campaign around campus to show support for alcohol awareness. Faculty members will help distribute ribbons to students who commit to abstain from alcohol consumption for a period of time they choose.

'Students will be seeing red ribbons across campus all week,' said Andrea King, student outreach coordinator for the health education and wellness program. 'They will be all over the McLane Student Life Center, on poles around campus, and of course, people will be wearing them.'

King said the theme of this year's National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week is 'There's Strength in Numbers.'

'Statistically, more than 74 percent of college students nationally do not drink every weekend or month. Instead of focusing on the numbers of people who are engaged in heavy drinking patterns, we want to show that there is strength in the numbers of people who do not drink on a heavy, regular basis,' King said. 'Students need to know that the old adage 'everyone drinks in college' is not true statistically. There are many people on this campus who are not drinking on a regular basis because they know they don't necessarily have to drink to have a good time in college,' she said.

According to a Department of Student Life survey taken this spring by the student body, during the month prior to the survey conducted last spring, more than 50 percent of Baylor students did not consume alcohol.

King said that in addition to the Red Ribbon Campaign, she will conduct focus groups around campus to discuss different issues and the consequences of drinking.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the groups hosting a focus group with King. In addition to meeting with her, SAE will conduct an alcohol awareness presentation from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Fountain Mall.

Baylor Department of Public Safety officers and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers will also be available at the presentation to answer questions about alcohol use and the law. They will perform sobriety tests and have a drinking simulation with goggles that create the sensation of being drunk.

'Our overall goal is to increase student awareness about the negative effects of alcohol,' Johnson said. 'We want to show people how dangerous binge drinking and drinking and driving really are and help people to make smart decisions about drinking alcohol.'