The Maneater

Wellness Resource Center holds 12-hour walk for Alcohol Responsibility Month

Participants could try beer goggles that simulate different levels of intoxication.

Students circle the track during the Alcohol Responsibility Walk from noon until midnight Friday at the MU Student Recreation Complex. They walked to raise awareness about how to responsibly manage alcohol consumption.

The Wellness Resource Center held a 12-hour walk Friday for the 30th annual Alcohol Responsibility Month, with the hopes of raising alcohol awareness, said Brittney Vigna, the graduate coordinator of peer education for the Wellness Resource Center.

“Alcohol use is evidently going to happen,” Vigna said. “If they are going to drink, do it responsibly.”

The walk took participants through various educational stations on the MU Student Recreation Complex's track, such as one station that showed the amount of sugar and calories in select drinks.

“I think it opens people’s eyes to what you are putting into your body," said Amanda Svoboda, peer educator and former Maneater staffer. "When you see it, it changes your mind.”

Peer educators work for the Wellness Resource Center and create wellness presentations such as Life Is Not a Spectator Sport, a campaign to encourage people to help friends in trouble, Vigna said.

LINASS had a station at the walk where people could pledge to intervene in dangerous situations. Two other stations had beer goggles that simulate different levels of intoxication. One station had hopscotch set up.

Participants could wear the beer goggles through a hopscotch course. No one had successfully completed it five hours into the walk, said Cole Mendenhall, a tri-director for Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol.

People had a lot of trouble with the goggles at the .07 level, which is the legal limit, peer educator Catie Connoley said.

After 16 laps, participants received free Shakespeare’s pizza and a free T-shirt. The Velvet Cupcake provided dessert.

Participants could run as part of a team or as individuals. Teams came from Residential Life and Greek Life chapters, and they compete during Alcohol Responsibility Month for points, Vigna said. The winning team receives a $200 cash prize.

“It’s cool to see the Wellness Center and everyone involved,” said sophomore Taylor Mitchell, who represented Delta Delta Delta at the walk. “Socializing with your friends for a good cause is nice. The free food doesn’t hurt.”

Mitchell said she liked the beer goggles station the best.

“It’s just interesting to see if you are that intoxicated how unsafe it is,” Mitchell said.

The walk is only one event of many planned for Alcohol Responsibility Month, Vigna said. Keep Friendship Alive founder Erica Upshaw will speak at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 in Jesse Hall. The nonprofit is a national middle school program led by college students, according to its website.

Upshaw spoke last year, and the Wellness Resource Center brought her back after exceptional reviews, Vigna said.

Her talk, “Keeping Friendship Alive,” deals with bystander intervention. Upshaw lost her brother in 2000 to a drug and alcohol overdose, Vigna said.

“(It is) a really captivating presentation, and she’s a great role model,” Vigna said.

Alcohol Responsibility Month is effective because it helps the younger generations coming into college, Mitchell said.

“People don’t know how to handle themselves," Mitchell said. “It’s not embarrassing to control yourself. You need to be safe.”

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