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March 23, 2001

GET SMART! VITERBO TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT ALCOHOL AWARENESS, EDUCATION, ALTERNATIVES (APRIL 1-6)

LA CROSSE, Wis.— Statistics on alcohol consumption by college students are alarming. According to last year’s Core Institute survey of 37,000 students on 66 campuses, 20 percent of them reported having done poorly on tests or assignments due to alcohol abuse, while 30 percent missed class because of alcohol.

Viterbo University students and staff will examine these issues during Alcohol Awareness Week (April 1-6) with a series of activities and events sponsored by student organizations.

"During alcohol awareness week, we are promoting low risk alcohol choices, along with awareness about the consequences of alcohol abuse, to students and the Viterbo community through awareness, education, and alternatives that they can incorporate into their daily life," said Anne Ellefson, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) prevention specialist.

To increase awareness, Ellefson said, a number of displays and activities have been organized, including:

  • "Bell Ringing: A Drink-Drive Reality Check," Monday, April 2,11 a.m.-2 p.m., between the Student Activity Center and Murphy Center. Someone dies in a drink/drive crash every 20 minutes in our country. Viterbo’s Connect Club (alcohol awareness group) will ring a bell to recognize the loss and will display statistics to promote sober driving.
  • "Conversations with the Bottle," Tuesday, April 3, 7-9 p.m. Two recovering individuals will describe their experiences with chemical dependency and recovery. Location to be announced.
  • "Viterbo Night at the Pearl," Wednesday, April 4, 6-9 p.m., the Pearl Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, 207 Pearl Street. Students will gather for ice cream, coffee, and music from Viterbo students Mike Gallo and Mitch Bolullard.
  • "Ultimate Party of the Millennium," Thursday, April 5, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Student Development Center. Campus resident assistants will host the ultimate (simulated) party, featuring dancing, music, assigned roles, conversation, and more.
  • "To Your Health: Wellness Fair," 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Fine Arts Center Lobby. Various community and campus organizations will be on hand to share wellness information on nutrition, smoking cessation, STDs, alcohol, stress, and other topics. Demonstrations of karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Tai Chi plus free massages will be available. The dietetics department will provide healthy snacks to taste test; plus, there will be blood pressure screening, computer dietary analysis, body fat composition testing, and other opportunities.
  • "The Wall," all week, Student Union. A "brick wall" will be constructed in the Union, allowing students and staff to reflect and remember by writing the name of someone they know who has suffered negative consequences related to alcohol abuse.

For more information on these events, or to find out about other Alcohol Awareness Week activities, please contact Ellefson at 796- 3807 or email her at amellefson@viterbo.edu.

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