Alcohol Awareness Week at Alvernia University began Monday, September 28, with activities to help deter alcohol abuse by students. Events, such as a Drunk Driving Obstacle Course and a performance by comedian (and former high-risk drinker) Wendi Fox took place on campus.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they choose to drink or not. This week at Alvernia, students and staff did something about it.
To start off the week (Monday) Alvernia’s Residence Life team asked students to take a stand against driving under the influence by filling out pledge cards to hang in the Student Center. Last year, NIAAA reported that 2.1 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drove under the influence of alcohol.
A Memory Wall was also constructed in the Student Center to help Alvernia community members share thoughts and stories about how drugs or alcohol have impacted their lives. Alvernia Counselor, Dr. Patricia Kreider, was on-hand to meet with students looking for help.
At 7:00 p.m. (Monday), Campus Ministry will hosted "Booze in the Bible," in the Crusader Café. Campus Ministers Joanna Pressimone and Daniel Flynn will discuss the role of alcohol in the Bible, the event was covered by the Reading Eagle.
WFMZ Channel 69 News covered Alvernia’s Drunk Driving Obstacle Course on Tuesday. The North Coventry Police Department, State Police, and Alvernia faculty worked with the Criminal Justice Association to create the course on Alvernia’s Campus Commons to demonstrate the real dangers of drinking and driving. The group used a golf cart course to demonstrate the effects of alcohol on driving. They also held a variety of field sobriety tests for students.
Other events during the week included “Mocktails” (in the Student Center, Wednesday, September 30, at noon) and Comedian Wendi Fox (Bernardine Lecture Hall, Wednesday, September 30, 9:00 p.m.). Fox, a former high-risk drinker, is committed to changing the drug and alcohol climate on college campuses through the power of humor.
• 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
• 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.
• More than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking, and more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
• About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
Alvernia is a private coeducational Franciscan University rooted in the Catholic and liberal arts traditions. It was founded in 1958 by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters, a Catholic religious order.
The University enrolls 2,800 students including 1,400 traditional undergraduates, 620 continuing education students, and 780 graduate and doctoral students across three Pennsylvania campuses–a 121-acre campus in Reading and two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville, and offers 50 undergraduate programs of study including pre-professional programs in medicine, dentistry, law, and veterinary medicine. On the graduate level, it offers one doctoral program, six master’s degrees, graduate-level certification programs for education professionals, and a Seniors College for persons age 55 and over. Its mission is to provide a rigorous, caring, and inclusive learning community committed to academic excellence and to being and fostering broadly educated lifelong learners, reflective professionals and engaged citizens, and ethical learners with moral courage.