Alcohol Awareness week starts Sunday

Starting Sunday, Collegiate Alcohol Awareness week begins at Georgia Southern University and over 1,000 other campuses around the nation.

“Unfortunately, while drinking is widely acceptable, students believe that they are invincible to the dangers and potential consequences of irresponsible drinking,” Rebecca Hotard, president of the Wellness Ambassadors, said.

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week began in 1975 and continues to promote responsible behavior and provide tool kits, ideas and themes to reduce the harmful affects of alcohol.

“Shot of Life,” hosted by the Wellness Ambassadors student organization, will occur on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Russell Union. The event plans raise awareness about alcohol use and the decisions that can be made while under the influence.

“There are many negative consequences to drinking irresponsibly,” Michelle Martin, University Wellness Program director, said.

There is a large drinking culture at GSU, since over half of the student body reported drinking on a regular basis, Hotard said.

“It is hard for people to believe that some of us will become alcoholics. Some of us will get DUIs. Some of us will also lose friends and family due to alcohol,” Hotard said.

In order to better engage the students and show them that these possibilities are real, a “Shot of Life” will be presenting the story of Sean Goral, quadriplegic senior biology major at GSU.

Goral was involved in a car accident this summer in which he was a passenger in a car driven by an intoxicated driver.  He is quadriplegic now because of this incident.

“College students just need to be aware of their surroundings and look out for their friends.

You never think this could happen. A thousand college students go out drink and make the same decisions every week that got me in a wheelchair,” Goral said.

The event will raise money for Goral, and any other donations will allow students to take part in a raffle.

“‘A Shot of Life’ is also not just about remembering those affected by alcohol, but about all those affected by substance use and abuse, meaning drugs as well,” Hotard said.

A free taxi service will also be available to win for students 21 and over. The service is provided by Boro D.D. and will promote responsible drinking habits.

On Oct. 24 in Sweetheart Circle at 10 a.m., the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will host The National Teen Driver Safety Week Media Tour.

The event will help combat teen driver crashes, injuries and fatalities.

Students can obtain more information about safer habits and how to act responsibly when drinking from the Office of Alcohol and Other Drugs Program.