Alcohol week observed

By Tricia Roegner

Following a weekend of partying by many students, NIU will observe National Alcohol Awareness Week Oct. 13 through 20 in the hopes of making more students aware of the dangers of alcohol use.

The nationwide event has been officially celebrated at college campuses since 1984, with each university holding different events to commemorate the week.

Michael Haines, coordinator of Health Enhancement Services, said the week is not held in order to prevent the use of alcohol, but to make students more aware of how to use alcohol more wisely if they choose to use it.

“If we held this week in order to totally prevent the use of alcohol, students would fight it,” Haines said.

“We would just like to promote a level of use that would be less risky to the drinker.”

Haines said he feels the level of alcohol awareness by students has increased in recent years, which is evident by the studies which show a reduction of heavy use by students.

“Students are learning the difference between using alcohol wisely and getting loaded,” Haines said.

Throughout the week, alcohol-related advertisements in different publications and messages on the bulletin board outside of the Recreation Center will give more information on alcohol use.

The New Greek Council will also be celebrating the week by handing out red ribbons to students to remind them of deaths caused by drunk driving, said Sue Bennett, social chair of New Greek Council.

“We want students to put the ribbons on their car or on their clothes to remind everyone of the consequences of drunk driving,” Bennett said.

Haines said if he could get one message across to students during this week, it would be that alcohol “is a drug and a food which one could have the costs or the benefits from its use.

“Students must put in the time and effort to have a healthy relationship with alcohol,” Haines said.