Alcohol safety tips available this week

By Maria Tortorello

This week’s Alcohol Awareness Week gives students and faculty members at NIU the opportunity to learn tips on alcohol safety.

Alcohol Awareness Week began last Sunday and will continue through Saturday. Universities nationwide participate in the week to help encourage students to drink responsibly.

“Our concern is to reinforce the idea of how to have a safe relationship with alcohol,” said Michael Haines, coordinator of NIU’s Health Enhancement Services.

A presentation by the Wellness Resource Center is being held every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center. Information and posters will be given out at the presentation for those who do not drink but have friends that do.

To celebrate the week, a community health class also offered tips on how to maintain a safe relationship with alcohol.

Amy Havasi, a health educator in the Health Enhancement Center, said people should not look at only the negative points concerning students who drink alcohol.

“There are safe things NIU students do when they drink,” Havasi said. “Ninety-five percent of the students don’t hurt others, and 84 percent don’t hurt themselves.”

She said counselors are available to provide free diagnostic assessments at the Student Development Center for those who have problems with alcohol abuse.

Alcohol Awareness Week offers a chance for NIU to highlight the awareness of alcohol, Havasi said. The idea should be practiced all year long, she added.

“We would like to think every week is a week to promote alcohol abstinence and safety,” Haines said.