The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



ND participates in alcohol awareness week

Catherine Owers | Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Office of Alcohol and Drug Education will celebrate National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) on campus, health counselor Bridget Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann said the office will sponsor a poster campaign and a tailgate with mocktails, games and snacks on South Quad on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  

“Really, we’re promoting the fact that you can go to tailgates and not have to drink, or that you can have other things at tailgates and still have fun,” Hoffmann said. “We’re giving students options.”

Hoffmann said the week does not necessarily focus on telling students not to drink at all, but rather to make smart decisions if and when they do choose to drink.

“What this week is promoting [is] making those smart choices, whether it’s drinking but not drinking to get drunk, or drinking to be social,” she said.

Because Halloween falls during NCAAW, the office is encourages students to be mindful of their alcohol consumption and safety, Hoffmann said.

“We’re giving students the idea that if they are going out to a costume party or a hall party, they are considering things like having just one drink, or making sure everyone gets back safely,” she said.      Hoffmann said it is important for colleges to learn how to distinguish themselves from campus drinking culture.

“In regards to Notre Dame, we have a culture that’s really surrounded by sports,” she said. “So with our mock tailgate, we’re giving students the opportunity to think that, come football Saturdays, when they may go to a family’s or friend’s tailgate, maybe they can step back and not have as much or not have any at all.”

Hoffmann said NCAAW is part of a national campaign by the BACCHUS Network, an organization that promotes students’ health and safety on campuses.

“They want to get students to use the [hashtag] ‘#makeSMARTchoices,’ so we’re really trying to get that out around campus,” she said. “It’s just about making students aware of the fact that you can still go out to be parties, but be smart about decisions that you are making when you are going out.”

According to the BACCHUS Network, the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week began in 2008.

“NCAAW has grown to become the largest single event in alcohol prevention at colleges and universities because students take ownership in designing and implementing this observance for their campus communities,” the BACCHUS Network’s 2012 press release for the event stated. “This week gives campuses the opportunity to showcase healthy lifestyles free from the abuse or illegal use of alcohol, and to combat the negative and inaccurate stereotypes of college drinking behavior.”

Contact Catherine Owers at cowers@nd.edu