Mercyhurst took part in the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) during the week of Oct. 17 through Oct. 23.
NCAAW takes place at thousands of campuses and universities across the country every year. The week at Mercyhurst was coordinated by Cela Veitch-Beck, Activities and Spirit Coordinator.
“Mercyhurst University participates in Alcohol Awareness Week with the purpose of educating students, encouraging them to develop safe drinking practices and responsibilities surrounding alcohol,” said Veitch-Beck.
The Campus Involvement Center, Office of Residence Life, Student Conduct and Athletics all worked together and hosted three major events on campus for students. The events included Mocktail Night on Oct.19, the Laker Healthy Pace Race on Oct. 20, and Drink When.. Movie Night on Oct. 21.
The first event to take place on campus was Mocktail night on Oct. 19. Eight RSCOs and other campus organizations took part in this event, serving themed mocktails and played pseudo-drinking games.
The organizations competed for prizes such as Best Mocktail, Best Costumes, and Most Creative Theme. The event took place in the Student Union and also included a drunk goggle obstacle course and the opportunity for students to “try their hand” at pouring a standard drink.
The Renaissance Club won Best Costumes, the International Student Association won Best Mocktail and Best Theme was Art Therapy Club.
Additionally, the Lakers Healthy Pace Race took place on Oct. 20, and on Oct. 21, Monsters Inc. was played in the Great Room at the Student Union.
Students played pseudo-drinking games and ate snacks while watching the movie and seeing what their blood alcohol content (BAC) would be.
Veitch-Beck says that the events were well attended by students. “This is an event that we had hosted in previous years, but due to COVID-19, we were unable to do so in 2020. It was awesome to bring the tradition back to campus in 2021,” said Veitch-Beck.
NCAAW is currently the largest event in all of academia because of the fact that students are granted the opportunity to do the planning, designing and implementing for their campuses. Campuses are able to promote healthy lifestyles to students that are free from the abuse and/or illegal use of alcohol, as well as squash the negative stereotypes of college drinking.
NCAAW is promoted by the Coalition of Higher Education Associations for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Per the NCAAW website, “This coalition is dedicated to promoting education, prevention, research, networking, and national incentives to help eliminate substance abuse and the problems it causes on our college and university campuses.”
Students who partake in the events of this campaign are encouraged to share experiences on social media, including any strategies that they have to stay safe and responsible, avoid excessive drinking and avoiding driving after drinking, or being the passenger in the vehicle of a drunk driver.
In addition to NCAAW, the Campus Involvement Center also offers alcohol free programming and other alcohol safety tips at other times of the year.
The NCAAW takes place in the fall term each year, while the spring term focuses mainly on Saint Patrick’s Day and ensuring that students have a safe week.
All of these alcohol awareness initiatives are often fun and meaningful events for students, including social events, educational lectures, pledge signing, games and giveaways.
While in college, it is important to remember the signs of alcohol poisoning. They are confusion, slurred speech, loss of coordination, slow or irregular breathing, blue-tinted skin caused by hypothermia, vomiting and unresponsiveness. In a worst-case scenario, the person with alcohol poisoning will be unconscious.
If you are at a party and see someone with these symptoms, make sure they are lying on their side, and immediately call Police & Safety instead of trying to handle the situation yourself. Mercyhurst has a Good Samaritan policy which provides potential amnesty from conduct sanctions for those who help other students in dangerous situations. These actions could save someone’s life. You can view more about this policy in the Student Handbook.
For more information about National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, you can visit the website at https://coheasap.myacpa.org/ncaaw.
As always, remember to drink responsibly Lakers.