‘BLURRED LINES’: Alcohol Awareness Week teaches students about alcohol abuse

Alcohol AwarenessFrom Oct. 20-25, Youngstown State University students learned about the dangers of alcohol when Alcohol Awareness Week swept through the campus and its facilities, delivering messages regarding safe drinking levels and the importance of knowing personal limits.

YSU’s Housing and Residence Life hosted the week’s events that included lectures and activities for students to attend. The events focused mostly on knowing personal alcohol limits, knowing the risks of drunken activities and knowing that a good time can be had without being intoxicated.

The theme, “Blurred Lines,” refers to the hazy way a brain can perform when exposed to alcohol. Most events talked about the dangers of alcohol and how it inhibits bodies to perform the way they should.

The week began on Sunday with a candlelight vigil hosted by the Catholic Student Association to honor and remember the young men and women who lost their lives in alcohol-related incidents.

Nicole Uerling, president of the Catholic Student Association, said that the CSA was thrilled to partner with Housing & Residence Life during Alcohol Awareness Week.

“CSA got involved … through the prayer vigil as a way to offer some time of reflection,” Uerling said, “The speaker, Aaron O’Brien, reminded us that we can always choose to take the next step and choose to do the next right. Sometimes alcohol plays a role — sometimes not. But we always need to take time to reflect on the next right direction.”

The week continued with other events, including “Mocktail Madness” on October 21. Students, faculty, and other guests tested their drink-making skills and were eligible for winning prizes for best and most unique non-alcoholic drink.

YSU’s own Rookery Radio proudly provided the entertainment for the event. Kenny Reyes, the head DJ and coordinator for the radio station,said that students, as well as adults, learned a lot about alcohol and party safety.

“There was a [fake] test during the ‘Mocktail’ that showed the students how easy it is to become a victim of tampered drinks,” Reyes said. “There were dots at the bottom of the cups and [students] were asked to check; 1/4 of the students’ drinks were found to be spiked.”

Hot 101’s “JDub” and Rock 104’s “Christian” hosted their radio shows live and talked about the dangers of unsafe alcohol consumption on Tuesday. The DJs did a live example of what alcohol can do to the body by drinking alcoholic beverages and then taking sobriety tests given by the YSU Police Department.

As program director and DJ for Hot 101, JDub said he is happy to come to YSU and showcase the side effects of drinking and how quickly it can affect your body.

“I was in college once,” JDub said, “I know what it’s like to want to experience the crazy party side of things. And that’s okay to want to do that. The catch is you have to be safe. We came out here to show students just how fast ‘just a few drinks’ can turn into a hazard.”

The week continued with another mocktail event that was hosted by the Delta Zeta Kappa Chi sorority during the night of October 24. Activities included beer goggle Mario Kart, corn hole and presentations on alcohol safety by local lawyers and EMTs.

Melissa Wasser, president of DZ, said that hosting the sorority’s mocktail night was important for the attendees.

“It promotes alcohol safety and awareness … while providing a fun and safe atmosphere where people can talk about what to do in these situations,” Wasser said.

Alcohol Awareness Week ended on Friday with the RHave!, a true-to-life race — minus the alcohol, LSD, and other drugs. Students gathered for a night of fun above the influence full of electronic dance music, dancing and glow sticks. The RHave! Event showed students that even the most drug and alcohol affiliated activities can be held without harmful substances, and fun can still be had without them.

Reyes said that he believes that events like this are important for the students and the staff alike.

“We wanted to support student activities as well as letting students know that you don’t need alcohol to have fun,” he said.