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Week seeks to raise alcohol awareness

John Cameron | Wednesday, October 27, 2010

As part of the ongoing efforts to inform Notre Dame students about the use and misuse of alcohol, the Office of Drug and Alcohol Education, PILLARS and student government are sponsoring Alcohol Awareness Week on campus.

“It’s extremely relevant to college students and their lifestyle,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “We think promoting education and awareness, not necessarily abstinence from drinking altogether, but more responsible behavior is always a good thing.”

While Soler said she does not think the drinking situation at Notre Dame is especially alarming relative to most universities, she said it is still an important issue to keep in mind.

“We’ve been doing some benchmarking for other off-campus issues at other schools. At Boston College they have a really big drinking problem right now,” Soler said. “It’s the mindset in college and at big universities that everything needs to have a pregame. I think it’s a national trend and something to keep an eye on.”

Soler said informing students through events like Alcohol Awareness Week is important to preventing drinking at Notre Dame from becoming a problem.

“I don’t think we’ve reached the point at Notre Dame where we need to panic, but hopefully by raising awareness we won’t have a problem,” Soler said.

Soler said she thinks the University’s alcohol policies put students in a slightly different position compared to other college students.

“I do think it’s unique that we don’t have a dry campus,” she said. “We think it’s an opportunity that we’re trusted with a little responsibility in the dorms that we should take advantage of it by being responsible with what we’re doing.”

To help with the educational aspect of the week, Monday kicked off an informational campaign, which included posters, cab phone number cards distributed to dorms along with various events later in the week.

“They’re going to be table tents in the dining halls, we’re planning a big poster campaign on The Wall and in academic buildings. They’re going to have beer goggles and different activities out on Fieldhouse Mall” Soler said. “We’re also having a mock tailgate on Saturday before the game.”

The events at Fieldhouse Mall include an information table with free non-alcoholic “mocktails” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and a “Food and Fun” event on Friday from 10:30 p.m. to midnight, sponsored by Student Activities Office.

Soler said she hopes this weeks programming will not only enable students to be smarter and safer with alcohol but will also help improve the standing of students in the community.

“I think there’s a lot of things we can take away from this week as far as thinking of drinking in a different way, or of the consequences,” she said. “I think we can definitely improve our situation in the community if we can be more responsible with the drinking and improving our attitude towards alcohol.”