By JESSICA MILO
KENNESAW, Ga. — Despite the prevalence of safe drinking tips posted around campus, KSU has seen a slight increase in the number of driving under the influence offenses during the fall 2013 semester when compared to the fall semester of 2012.
The Wellstar College of Health and Human Services has created and posted an abundance of drinking tips and statistics on signs around the KSU campus in order to heighten awareness on practicing safe drinking habits. While these signs are noticed by students, their impact on changing unsafe drinking patterns may be inadequate.
The KSU Public Crime Log has documented 11 traffic offenses for drinking under the influence of alcohol in the first two months of the fall 2013 semester alone. This is a jump from the eight DUI offenses recorded in August and September 2012 causing some to believe that the safe drinking signs around campus are overlooked.
The signs, posted during the first week of September, were displayed “because the school received a grant this semester from highway safety to educate students,” said Health and Wellness Department volunteer Kathy Ereshena.
The posted safe party tips and statistics read: “Party Tip #8: Set limits on how much you drink when you party,” and “46 percent of KSU students drink less than 4 drinks when they party while 31 percent of students choose not to drink at all.”
“I do read the signs when I walk by, so I think they are effective at giving information,” said KSU criminal justice major Ricky Ogletree, “But I don’t think that they realistically motivate students to change the way they drink and party.”
A false sense of invincibility among college students also may play a part in the signs’ ineffectiveness. Many students who read the drinking statistics fail to consider themselves susceptible to the negative effects of alcohol, instead focusing on more social aspects of drinking.
With consideration to the signs’ lasting impression on students, KSU human services major Christina Leterle said, “Honestly, I doubt that students, especially freshmen, are thinking about what a sign at school said while they’re out drinking with friends.”
Although they grab attention and make for an interesting read on the way to class, the fact-of-the-matter may be that this is all that these signs may ever be to students.
“I think that either letting people know of the cheapest taxi services in the area or offering a service that would drive drunk people home and give incentives for using it may help,” said Ogletree in regard to how KSU could better spread awareness on safe drinking.
Until such measures are taken, KSU must spread safe drinking awareness through Center of Health Promotion and Wellness signs.