SU raises alcohol awareness

Alcohol awareness at Stevenson University educates students about the harmful effects and consequences of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is a national campus epidemic, and education about it is crucial for students. Over 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die yearly from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Additionally, the same source recognizes that nearly 700,000 students yearly between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

A Shot of Reality is an interactive alcohol awareness program presented by two professional comedians. The program is a fresh take on a popular topic and is many schools’ favorite program to satisfy alcohol awareness training, especially for orientation. (Photo from A Shot of Reality website)

Jeff Kelly, Stevenson’s dean of students,  explained, “All incoming freshman must complete some sort of alcohol awareness program to start classes.” This program, known as “My Student Body,” ensures that students understand and abide by the guidelines set forth by the university.

This program provides education not only on alcohol, but also about drugs and sexual misconduct. Ryan Patrick, freshman, said, “The alcohol awareness programs prepared me for college and the realities of alcohol abuse.”

Kelly utilizes a student-oriented program to spread awareness in an effective and creative manner. This program targets students and implements awareness around campus. Kelly explains this as a passive way to make students aware of alcohol abuse.

Furthermore, the Stevenson student portal offers all of the resources and information on alcohol awareness and education for students. The website includes many tabs, each unique and important for student awareness of alcohol, drug, and sexual abuse.

Programs such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Shot of Reality spread awareness of the consequences of alcohol abuse and driving under the influence. With the Shot of Reality program, the university utilizes a lighthearted approach to make students aware of alcohol abuse. Furthermore, the MADD program brings awareness to the real dangers and consequences of drunk driving.

As Stevenson enforces rules against underage drinking, students who break these rules and are given a referral may face consequences. First-time violators are subject to a $100 fine and/or attending an alcohol education program. Second-time violators are subject to a $150 fine and/or housing probation, parental notification, or more extensive alcohol treatment. Students who continue to break these rules are subject to increased fines, treatment, and possible suspension or expulsion from Stevenson University.

However, the university implements a “Good Samaritan Policy” alleviating the stresses of reporting alcohol abuse. This policy allows students to seek medical attention for themselves or a friend upon over-consumption of alcohol without either party getting in trouble. This policy allows students to contact staff when necessary without fear of punishment.

Stevenson University takes alcohol awareness seriously and offers its students education and resources to ensure safety. The university believes these programs are effective and give students a safe guide along with contact information for further help.

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