By Sarah Bermingham
DCU Students’ Union joined forces with Drinkaware.ie recently to stage Alcohol Awareness Week, which aimed to encourage students to ‘rethink their drinking’. Events intended to challenge students’ knowledge of responsible drinking were held on campus from Monday February 27th to Friday March 3rd.
The week saw students quizzed on their knowledge of alcohol, reminded of ways to pace their drinking, and receive free goodies to help them keep these tips in mind.
Drinkaware.ie hosted a quiz stand on Monday and Thursday which tested students’ knowledge of responsible drinking limits.
Weekly student night ‘Tuesdays at the Hub’ offered reduced-price soft drinks, water stations and free food to encourage students to eat before they start drinking and to pace their alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks.
Wednesday saw the SU’s offices transformed into a student digs, where students were invited in for a cuppa and to learn more about what responsible drinking means to them.
President of DCU Prof Brian MacCraith welcomed the partnership between DCU SU and Drinkaware.ie, envisaging that “this awareness campaign will invite students to reflect on their relationship with alcohol, and provide them with the necessary tools to re-assess their drinking behaviour”.
Fionnuala Sheehan, Drinkaware.ie CEO, stressed the need for students to re-assess their behavioural patterns, particularly when it comes to drinking in the home. With low-price alcohol readily available from supermarkets and off-licences, the trend of ‘prinking’, or drinking large volumes of alcohol before leaving home on a night out, has become popular amongst students.
Sheehan points out that “very few people measure their drinks at home so it’s likely students are drinking more than they realise and for a longer period of time. After all there’s no closing time when it comes to drinking at home”.
Drinkaware.ie Student Survival Guides and Standard Drinks Calculators were distributed throughout the week, while student-produced DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie award-winning films were screened across campus.
A survey distributed by the SU will assess students’ knowledge of responsible drinking and be used to improve future campaigns.
Students are encouraged to visit Drinkaware.ie for further details.