N.C. State Holds Alcohol-Free Event for Big Game
Posted February 16, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — N.C. State Universityheld an alcohol-free event Wednesday night at Reynolds Coliseum. Students cheered on theWolfpack, who played theTar Heelsat the Dean Smith Center.
The game was shown on a big screen TV. Organizers estimated that about 1,700 people showed up for the event.
One Wolfpack Club member drove three hours to watch the game at Reynolds instead of actually going to the game. Club member Joel Klemmer said that you cannot beat the feeling in the coliseum.
"Reynolds is just a rocking place to come to," he said. "It's fun to watch the basketball games. It doesn't even matter where you sit, it's always rocking around here."
"No matter what you hear at college or what you do outside of college, you have a choice," says event organizer Stephanie Geiger. "You can make a good choice or you can make a bad choice, and we hope that you will choose responsibly."
The school wanted to give students an alternative to a social life which revolves around alcohol.
"If they're not given a choice then their options are limited and they go downtown," Geiger said. "In this case they go to Hillsborough Street to the local bars, and they may be more tempted to take a drink."
A school committee called ACTION, "Advocating Choices Through Increased Options Now," has promoted the event all week. At one rally they used special glasses to give students an idea of what it feels like to be drunk and try to walk a straight line. Many students say watching drunk people turned them off to alcohol.
"It's just seeing people that don't act like themselves, who act like a jerk because they've had a little too much to drink," says student Lauren Anselowitz. "Those people aren't fun to hang out with, and they're not cool to be around."
"It's just not necessary to have alcohol at events, you can still have fun with your friends without it," says student Ben Dunn. "I'm looking forward to having a good time tonight without alcohol."
But some students say it is going to take a lot more than an alcohol-free party to change campus culture.
"You get drunk before, you get drunk after, one way or another it's probably going to happen," says student Jonathan Foster.
Campus drinking is something schools across the Triangle and the nation are grappling with. UNC has dropped alcohol advertising on its Tar Heel Sports Network, and is sponsoring several alcohol-free parties a year.
Duke is organizing and hosting a national conference in March to address the issue of drinking on campus.