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AAI To Educate Through Awareness Week

According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, full-time college students aged 18-22 are more likely than those not enrolled full time to use alcohol, binge drink and drink heavily.

Among these, 62.4 percent have consumed at least one drink in the past 30 days; 43.4 percent have participated in “binge” drinking, consuming at least five drinks on the same occasion; and 18.6 percent have fallen into the “heavy use” category, binge drinking at least five different days in the past month. These figures are based on a report that was revised as of September 2005.

In recognition of statistics such as these, SHSU’s Alcohol Abuse Initiative will host a variety of events and speakers in conjunction with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, beginning Monday (Oct. 17) with a demonstration of how drinking impairs one’s vision and a discussion on designated drivers.

“ Seeing Between the Lines” will give students “fatal vision,” showing them how alcohol affects their vision at different blood alcohol concentrations, according to Student Health Center programming coordinator Michelle Lovering.

Students will don the beer goggles and be asked by AAI members and volunteers to perform various tasks, such as walking a straight line or tossing around balls, on both Monday and Thursday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

“While an individual is intoxicated, their cognitive abilities are also impaired so they may not realize how impaired their vision actually is,” Lovering said. “Hopefully, the Fatal Vision exercises will demonstrate to students that if they cannot walk a straight line while they are sober, how are they to drive in a straight line while under the influence of alcohol.”

That afternoon, from 2-3 p.m. in LSC Room 320, Lovering will present facts and lead a discussion on drinking and driving, why people choose to do so and what can be done to reduce incidences at “Some-One for the Road.”

“ Many times, being the designated driver or "DD" is not seen as the ‘cool’ thing to do, so (we will discuss) how can we change this perception,” Lovering said.

This discussion could also lead to further programming in the future.

“ In the past, students have expressed strong support for a designated driver program,” she said. “We're still exploring this possibility, but there are many program models currently being used by other universities. We would like to gather more thoughts on what the students would like to have here.”

Tuesday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., AAI will dispel myths about cultural differences in alcohol consumption through Jeopardy-like games and quizzes with “Drinking Around the World,” in the LSC Mall Area.

“ One very common misperception that students have about other countries is that they have lower legal drinking ages, and they don't have alcohol problems,” Lovering said, “when in fact, research from the Center for Alcohol Marketing to Youth demonstrates that not only do youth in European countries have higher levels of alcohol consumption, but they also have higher levels of intoxication.”

Also that afternoon, interim Dean of Students John Yarabeck and Jason Warren, chief investigator and coordinator of judicial programs, will discuss alcohol policies on campus, including what you can be kicked out for and reasons parents can be notified, with “Drinking at SHSU,” from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

Drinking games will be the topic of Wednesday’s (Oct. 19) LSC Mall Area demonstration, held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with “From Quarters to Kings,” which will include quizzes and other activities to inform students of the dangers of participating in those games.

From 1-2 p.m. in the LSC Theater, two assistant attorneys from the Walker County DA’s office will tell students how alcohol offenses can hit their wallets from the Texas law side with “Firewater Under Fire.”

“Several new laws went into effect Sept. 1 dealing with alcohol,” said AAI member Rosanne Keathley. “They are also going to talk about what the difference is between a DUI (driving under the influence), public intoxication, DWI (driving while intoxicated) and the different levels of offense now, because when you get three DWIs now, or a DUI and two DWIs, it is a different level; you go up a notch.”

“ People don’t know what the new penalties are, and it could be kind of eye opening for them, with the new fines,” Lovering said.

Thursday will begin with a display and discussion about alcohol consumption at sporting events and sport-oriented advertising with “Sports, Media and Alcohol,” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the LSC Mall Area.

Counseling psychologists with the Counseling Center Trey Charrier and Beth Charrier will talk about lowered inhibitions and interferences with decision-making under the influence with “Risque Business: Alcohol, Sex and Drugs,” from 4-5 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

“They are going to be talking about the role alcohol and drugs play in acquaintance rape, unprotected sex, refusal skills, dating violence, rape in general, and also talk about date rape drugs,” Keathley said.

Finally, awareness week will wrap up with a look into the role that contemporary pop culture plays in “glamorizing excessive drinking and high-risk behaviors” by award-winning media critics with the video “Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies and Alcohol.”

Students will also be encouraged to share personal experiences with drinking and what influenced their actions. Popcorn will be provided at the event, which will be held from 2-4 p.m. in the LSC Ballroom.

With this year’s awareness week, Lovering said AAI tried to host events that covered a wide variety of alcohol-related issues and hit on those they hadn’t in the past.

“ Overall, we’re trying to better educate them about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and irresponsible behaviors that come as a result of excessive alcohol consumption,” she said.
For more information on any of these events, visit the AAI Web site at



SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 12, 2005
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Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834