April, a month when Binghamton University students see flowers, the sun and people enjoying life outside the dorms for possibly the first time since September, is also a month for alcohol awareness.
Every year, the Thursday of the first full week of April is National Alcohol Awareness Day. The date this year was April 8, and many college campuses held special events to educate students.
Many organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Health and CollegeResponse.org, dedicate the entire month to educating college students on the negative effects of alcohol.
Jason Marshall, College Response program manager, said the goal of the program is to provide colleges and universities with screenings, articles and tool kits that can be given to students in person by their counseling and health centers.
“A simple way to describe what we do is, we want to help counseling centers help their students,” Marshall said. “We want to really inform and expose students to these types of issues so they can see the need for a screening.”
Alcohol awareness events done by College Response range from an entire day of distributing brochures, hanging posters, playing games and watching movies to tabling in campus student centers.
Some of the games involve figuring how much alcohol it takes to make a drink and how little someone needs to consume to be considered binge drinking.
According to Marshall, each campus puts its own spin on how it runs the event.
Binghamton University does not yet have an event run by College Response, but Marshall said he has been in contact with the University’s dean of students on possible programs.
“We are looking at screening programs which we believe can have an impact on alcohol awareness,” said Gail Glover, University spokeswoman. “At this point, we are reviewing various types of screening programs to see which one would best fit our campus.”
“I think it would be beneficial on college campuses because as much as a lot of us are underage, it’s obvious that people are drinking,” Mallory Wool, an undeclared sophomore, said.
Stanley Duval, a sophomore majoring in accounting, added that people need to learn about alcohol abuse because they don’t realize how excessive drinking affects their bodies.
However, many students have opposing viewpoints on how successful an event would be. They cannot see it changing BU’s nightlife scene.
“It wouldn’t be beneficial because people are still going to drink,” said Alyson Bernero, a sophomore and human development major. “Everyone knows it’s dangerous.”
BU currently provides educational programs year-round through peer education activities, residence hall programs and panel discussions, Glover said.
“BU works hard to create an environment that is conducive to healthy choices and educates students to make healthy choices about alcohol use,” she said. “We work with students through Residential Life, student groups and fraternity and sorority groups to educate them about dangerous drinking.”
The University also requires first-year students to complete Alcohol-Wise, an online course whose objective is to provide college students with alcohol education.