On Sept. 28, Laurier’s Students Union hosted the Healthy Lifestyles Safe Drinking event in the Expositor Place Residence basement. The night consisted of activities such as beer goggles, tipsy twister and an information booth; all to educate students in a fun and interactive way.
“I really think about how in movies, a lot of people think university and college are all about drinking. There’s been a lot of problems over the years in residence in terms of binge drinking,” said event coordinator Tyler Dosa. “So I want to educate students on safe drinking and things like that so there are no problems in residence.”
According to a report by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Ontario, “Alcohol-related trauma is a significant and preventable cause of death among young Canadians.” The report adds that although illicit drug use is declining, heavy drinking in Canadians aged 15 to 25 has not only remained steady but even increased.
Statistics Canada defines heavy drinking as having had 5 or more drinks (4 or more for women) on one occasion, at least once a month in the past year.
The dangers of intoxication were re-enforced for some students Wednesday night as they tried the activities at the event.
“It was fun, I probably shouldn’t say that since this is a safe drinking event,” said first-year student Maddie Drost. “But if I was actually impaired like that it wouldn’t be so fun.”
Laurier Brantford’s Special Constables web page outlines a six-step plan to make before drinking. Steps include: before you drink, learning about alcohol, knowing your limit, having a plan, watching out for problems and when it is most dangerous to drink.
“You have to keep remembering to pace yourself so you don’t get to that point because you don’t really know what’s going on and everything is moving,” said first-year student Sarah Danielson after playing tipsy twister. “It was a fun time because it was something different, but it wasn’t something I would actually want to be experiencing. I knew I could take off the goggles, but if you actually can’t it is not as fun.”
Students should also be aware that Laurier strictly enforces guidelines under the Ontario Liquor License Act and the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario. Under the residence alcohol policy, students under the legal drinking age are not permitted to consume or be in possession of alcohol in residence. Students wanting to find more information about Laurier’s alcohol policy may view the Residence Life Code of Conduct.
“Obviously if first-year students are going to drink in residence that’s something we can’t control and the Dons can’t control,” said Dosa. “[By] Us coming in here is teaching them how to drink and practice safe drinking”.