October 18, 2010
10-177

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Williams Acquires Grant to Combat Campus Drinking

 

VALDOSTA -- "Nobody ever drown in sweat," at least that is what Coordinator Mark Williams tells students who seek services in the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Education. Hard work is essential on the battlefields of collegiate substance abuse, and Williams has acquired yet another weapon in his arsenal.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) awarded VSU with a Young Adult Grant, which provides the office with nearly $9,000 to enhance alcohol-prevention programs and bring nationally recognized speakers to campus. News of the grant, which has been awarded to VSU for the past seven years, comes during the 2010 National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, Oct. 17-23.

“The most basic goal of AOD is to let students know we are a resource available to them, and this grant helps us reach that goal,” said Williams, who previously served for 11 years as a U.S. Air Force substance abuse counselor. “Students do not have to struggle alone; together we can sort through the compelling issues they face and identify options they can make as they decide what, if any, role substance use will play in their college experience.”

Williams said the grant has enabled the office, in conjunction with Health Promotions and Housing, to invite Brett Sokolow, president of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, to speak about "Drunk Sex or Date Rape" at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, in the Student Union Ball Room.

Beyond motivational speakers, Williams said the office also plans to use GOHS funds to expose students to DUI simulators, purchase promotional and educational items, and finance the trips of Peer Educators to educational conferences.

Williams, who has worked at VSU for 11 years, said substance abuse is perhaps the greatest threat to students’ academic pursuits. According to BACCHUS global education network, “A” students average 4 or fewer drinks per week, “C” students average about 7 drinks per week; while “D” and “F” students average 9.97 drinks per week. The network’s website, http://www.bacchusgamma.org/ncaaw.asp, has a variety of informational resources about college drinking and its related consequences.

For more information about the AOD’s preventions efforts, informational presentations and the student organization, Natural High, go to https://webstats.valdosta.edu/aode/ or call the office at 229-259-5111.