Alcohol Awareness Week is once again taking place on Mercyhurst’s campus. The week began on Oct. 25 with the MAC/SAC Hallohurst Dance Party, and will continue until Halloween night on Oct. 31.
The events intend to warn students of the dangers of being irresponsible with alcohol, and finding engaging ways to have fun around the holiday week.The events planned, in addition to the dance party, include “Trunk or Treat” on Oct. 25, hosted by the Commuter Student Association, “Haunted Hurst” on Oct. 26, speaker Aaron Cooksey on Oct. 28 discussing the consequences of drunk driving, various Residence Hall programming events on Oct. 29, a “Mocktail Hour” hosted by the Campus Involve-ment Center and various RSCOs in the Student Union from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 30 and concludes with events titled “Clearly You Crystals” and “Emotion Matrix” from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. in Ryan Hall on Oct. 31.
Activities and Spirit Coordina-tor, Sam Beckas, was one of the coplanners for the events along-side Steph Przepiora, Leadership and Outreach Coordinator. Together with committee members Sue Sweeney, Chris Lewand, Linda Graves, and Kyle Shoulders, they set the week’s events and worked to make this week a success.
Athletics, Residence Life and the Counseling Center continue to be involved in the planning of this week’s events. Beckas described this year’s new event, “Mocktail Hour,” which she spearheaded.
“Mocktail Madness is an event where various student groups get the chance to create their own mocktail and compete against each other for Best Mocktail, Best Costume and Most Creative Theme.”
The different clubs and other campus organizations were able to be creative and come up with a name, ingredients and a theme for their drinks. Students that attend are able to play a Kahoot game as well as try drunk goggles.
“It is meant to educate students about proper ratios in alcoholic beverages and understand how important it is to know who is making your drink and what is in your drink,” Beckas said. “You do not have to drink alcohol to have fun and engage in social events.”This event has replaced the previous year’s “Don’t Be a Drunken Pumpkin.”Another event that Beckas oversaw was “Trunk or Treat.” There, students could go trick or treating out of the trunks of Halloween themed cars from various RSCOs.
Beckas states that Alcohol Awareness Week is intentionally held around Halloween, a holiday known for increased drinking and partying.
The committee planning these events is hoping “to catch a wide audience at these events in order to educate about the responsibilities that come with drinking alcohol,” explained Beckas.
Sue Sweeney, Assistant Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Health and Wellness, also hopes that students will take away an important message from these events. “If students choose to drink, they need to do it responsibly. When a group of friends are drinking, step up and take care of each other,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney was most looking forward to speaker Aaron Cooksey as he provided a very important message to everyone in regards to the consequences that drinking could bring about that has personally affected him and others during his life. Cooksey spoke on Oct. 28 in the PAC to the general student body. Additionally, he had spoken with students at Mercyhurst Prep in the morning and addressed student athletes specifically on Sunday evening.
Students are being encouraged to make smart and well-informed decisions. This week is showing students that they do not have to drink alcohol to be actively involved in social events on campus.