Students urged to celebrate responsible

Students urged to celebrate responsible

by Kristen Erickson

This year’s Homecoming week might encourage some students to getcrazy and go nuts without alcohol – or at least to celebrateresponsibly.

Simpson’s Homecoming week corresponds with the 20th annualNational Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW), held during thethird full week in October.

Simpson’s participation is organized through the Departments ofResidence Life and Security, Area Coordinator Nicole Faust andDirector of Security Chris Frerichs.

“We are participating in this week because it gives all collegesand universities nationwide a chance to get the word out about whatdecisions most students are making when it comes to alcohol,” Faustsaid. “And surprisingly, most students on college campuses aremaking wise choices when it comes to alcohol.”

Here at Simpson, making wise choices may be open tointerpretation. According to junior Lindsay Smith, she and most ofthe people she hangs out with don’t drink think they are theminority at Simpson.

“A lot of people do drink. Probably more do than don’t,” Smithsaid.

Junior Marshall McCarty, a 21-year-old self-proclaimed socialdrinker, agrees that the majority of Simpson students drink, butnot irresponsibly.

“Most of the people I know make wise decisions, but do drink,”McCarty said. “I probably drink a bit more than most, but not morerecklessly.”

Neither Smith nor McCarty felt that the NCAAW efforts wouldreach most Simpson students.

“It’s good to know that the school cares, but students probablywon’t listen to much of it,” McCarty said.

Still, both students thought that the effort was worth atry.

And try they will.

According to Faust, activities planned for the week include adance held the night of Homecoming and a table located in BrentonStudent Center providing information about alcohol use. They willalso be giving away free promotional items and there will beposters displayed on campus showing the week’s theme, “Tell it likeit is.”

According to Bacchus & Gamma, a peer education networkaffiliated with the NCAAW, “the theme includes that many studentschoose not to drink irresponsibly, and those who drink to excessput themselves at high-risk for negative consequences.”

Information about these negative consequences can be found inpamphlets and brochures available through the Department ofSecurity or Residence Life staff members. They can also be found bylooking online at websites such as, an alcoholawareness website geared toward students. provides such useful information as a table fordetermining one’s blood alcohol level and facts like “one night ofheavy drinking can impair your ability to think abstractly for upto 30 days.” Still, with finals scheduled to begin Dec. 8, somecould construe that to mean they still have two more drinkingweekends to go before their test scores could be adverselyaffected.

Whether a student is out to get crazy and go nuts this weekendwith alcohol or without, making choices will be a key part of theHomecoming experience. Through NCAAW, maybe some of those choiceswill be a little wiser.