Local News

UNC Students Party In the New School Year Alcohol-Free

Posted August 18, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill spent Sunday night partying, but it wasn't all fun and games. School leaders want them to learn a very important message.

Thousands of college students are back on campus for the start of the fall semester and, for many, drinking alcohol is a part of the college scene. Many students often drink beer after beer at college parties. A UNC drug and alcohol use survey showed that 37 percent of Chapel students have indulged in binge drinking, drinking more than five drinks at one sitting.

Student organizer Shannon Okerblom says people who don't drink are revealing themselves to those who might.

Student Ukounwa Kuzi-Orivu says the party is showing students that they don't have to drink to have fun.

School leaders want students to stop viewing drinking as an integral part of the college experience, so they've started a "Don't Get Wasted" campaign. Armed with television ads and school programs, they hope to convince students that drinking is not cool.

Party organizer Don Lus says the pre-semester party allows for students to connect with anti-alcohol information and support up front.

The school's football team, cheerleaders and band all took to the stage at the Sunday night party to deliver alcohol-free messages to fellow students. There was free food and plenty of music. It was an event that included a little of everythingexceptdrinking.

Classes begin Tuesday. Sunday was the last day students could move into dorms.

Reporter: Wisdom Martin