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September 28, 2007
Vol. 49 No. 4

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Alcohol Awareness Week to promote safe decisions

Susquehanna's 2007 Alcohol Awareness Week kicks off Sunday and will continue to emphasize the "SoBe Smart" campaign used in previous years.

Alcohol Awareness Week is organized chiefly by the Health Center and Students Promoting Awareness and Responsible Choices (SPARC).

Cheryl Stumpf, counselor and coordinator of health education and outreach, said Alcohol Awareness Week is a national event.

The "SoBe Smart" campaign, Stumpf said, works in terms of philosophy because it does not preach, "Don't drink." This method, she said, is rarely effective with college students.

SoBe Life Water will be distributed at events throughout the week, and the "SoBe Smart" message will be visible around campus. Stumpf said that Susquehanna buys cases of SoBe Life Water to be given away throughout the week.

Last year, SPARC went through approximately 3,000 bottles, and Stumpf said she anticipates that the organization will use even more cases this year.

Stumpf said that while most Alcohol Awareness Week efforts are passive, in the form of posters with alcohol facts placed around campus, there will be a trivia game hosted by SPARC in the lower level of Degenstein Campus Center during lunch.

Thursday night, Mike Green, who is an athlete, coach, teacher and recovering alcoholic, will speak to students in O.W. Houts Gymnasium about "The Four Stages of Drinking."

According to Stumpf, the first 200 students to arrive will receive a free T-shirt, and everyone who attends will receive a free SoBe Life Water.

Stumpf said that Green is a very charismatic speaker who understands students and why they engage in risky behavior.

SPARC President Amanda Brown said the capstone event of Alcohol Awareness Week will take place during Homecoming weekend.

SPARC will have a float in the Homecoming parade decorated in its theme "Peer Helpers Saving Lives," according to Brown.

A table will be set up at the Homecoming game where more T-shirts and SoBe Life Water will be handed out.

Saturday night, Charlie's will feature singer/songwriter Melinda, an artist originally from Harrisburg. SPARC will provide mocktails, which are non-alcoholic cocktails, she said.

The goal of Alcohol Awareness Week and the overall idea of SPARC is not to preach sobriety, Brown and Stumpf said, but to instead raise awareness about health and safety risks.

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