Alcohol Awareness Week

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

The Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement put on national Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week under the direction of Tonya Hines from October 21-23.

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week occurs annually at every college campus in the nation. It’s a time to learn more about responsible drinking, reflect on your alcohol consumption as an individual and acquire the skills you need to stay safe and healthy while having fun, whether you choose to drink or not. For the entire week, ISE posted different facts about alcohol abuse to raise awareness on their Facebook and Twitter page.

There were different events throughout the week to help raise awareness for the effects of alcohol. On that Wednesday, the Decatur Police Department paired up with ISE to run DUI simulations with golf carts on the quad. There were three different types of goggles for the simulations: slightly buzzed, severely drunk, and a mix of alcohol and narcotics.

This specific event has been going on for a few years here at Millikin for Alcohol Awareness Week. “We want to be intentional about demonstrating how driving under the influence of any substance at any capacity can impair you,” Derrick Sosinski, senior art major and intern at the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement, said.

Not one person drove through the course without hitting a cone or knocking one over. “It was interesting to see that even the ‘slightly buzzed’ people were hesitant. We had them walk to the golf cart with the goggles on, and people were really wobbly just walking to the cart,” Sosinski said.

This event continues to be popular and shows just how dangerous driving under the influence is. Free hot chocolate was also provided to all who participated.

Another event sponsored by ISE and the men of Delta Sigma Phi, water pong, took place in RTUC on Thursday. It was intended to provide an alternative activity for students to show that you can have a fun time without having to use alcohol.

“We were asked through ISE to help sponsor this event. I think it’s great for fraternities to sponsor events like this because we seem to get a bad rap with alcohol. This events shows that we don’t need alcohol to have fun or to bring people to our events,” Joel Kimling, sophomore acting major with a dance minor and fundraising chair of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, said. “Even if one person makes a better decision from these events, we’ve impacted [campus] in a positive way.”

Alcohol Awareness Week truly is about awareness. It’s not intended to outright ban students from drinking, but rather to inform them of the possible consequences if they choose to drink. “I think it’s good to be aware of your surroundings and the effects of substances like alcohol can have on you. It’s important for people to get educated,” Sosinski said.

In addition to this week, ISE sponsors five other “wellness” weeks. National Hazing Prevention Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week are two that have already passed. Coming up next semester is Sexual Responsibility Week, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and Safe Spring Break. The Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement is located in LRTUC by the bistro, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They encourage students to stop by with any questions about upcoming or previous “wellness” weeks.