In Heaven, or at NDSU, There is No Beer
F-M and NDSU raise awareness of alcohol and substance abuse
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 14:10
“The songs they sing at football games such as, “In Heaven There is No Beer” seems to send a mixed message to students on campus about responsibility of and under-age drinking,” said Janna Stoskoff, dean of Student Life.
F-M community members and the NDSU President’s Council of Alcohol and Other Drugs met at the Alumni Center for a town hall meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
The meeting focused on what efforts are currently being pursued around campus to aid the prevention of alcohol abuse and other substances. Tailgating, songs about Heaven and No Beer, and international students being tolerant of drinking were all discussion points of concern during the meeting.
The collaborating efforts of the community members, police officials, and council members were focused on lowering the risks of alcohol abuse and under-aged drinking. They first discussed what work has currently been implemented at NDSU’s campus, and then talked about new ideas and how to get more involvement.
NDSU is currently reaching out with activities such as Campus Live by creating events as an alternative for students to enjoy.
“83 percent of students say that they prefer to do these events more than drinking at a friend’s house,” said Jace Beehler, student body vice president. “There was a turnout of over 17,500 students from 2011-2012.”
State surveys and email campaigns are among initiatives to increase awareness of alcohol and substance abuse.
Other initiatives include the CheckUp program, Good Neighbor, “One is One too Many” campaign and sobriety check points on certain weekends.
“The CheckUp Program had a 95 percent completion rate with incoming freshman since 2010,” Beehler said.
Stoskoff said that Fargo’s municipal court judge, Thomas A. Davies, also works to educate kids who land in court as a result of alcohol or substance abuse.
“[Judge Davies] focused on laws and policies to hold students accountable. He really is interested in helping students learn about consequences,” Stoskoff said. Judge Davies was awarded a recognized certificate of his efforts with lowering the risks of alcohol and other substances.
New ideas were discussed amongst groups at the meeting under the direction of Karla Thoenes, director of Residential Life.
“How can NDSU partner with the F-M area about how to address the issues?” Theones prompted. “We need to know what priorities are in moving forward with alcohol and drug related issues.”
New concerns and ideas arose as groups talked of improving how to address issues.
One member of the discussion mentioned “hospitality owners targeting college kids with drink specials and synthetic marijuana” as a concern.
The group discussed ideas of how to handle these issues, including allowing the police to build relationships with the students, generating more awareness with off-campus students and getting students more involved.
“[We should] continue to work on culture and mixed messages,” said another community member.
New ideas for helping with drug and alcohol abuse ranged from more media awareness to celebrating responsible behavior.
“Our biggest issue was focusing on the on-campus students and not on the community or off-campus students,” the council stated in closing remarks. “At NDSU… statistics have changed, but we need them to change more. We need community.”
The council also wants to take a new angle with sobriety check-points.
“[We] want to take a different angle as a deterrent as a chance to educate and inform,” Beehler said. “We want to change the stigma.”
The town hall meeting, funded by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, was open to the public.
For more information or questions, contact Erika Beseler-Thompson at Erika.firstname.lastname@example.org.