Nevin MacLeod enjoys going out with his friends, sharing some laughs and even maybe a drink or two, but says that in his experience, “the best times are the ones you remember.”
It’s a message the Student Alcohol Education Coordinator hopes to bring to as many of his peers as possible. He says the university years are formative for many young people.
“This is the first time away from home and away from the supervision of their parents,” says MacLeod. “They are developing into their own persons. We just don’t want them to make choices that can snowball into a potentially dangerous lifestyle.”
He says he has learned that alcohol has many different implications: financial, social, physical and psychological.
“The Don’t Be That Guy/Don’t Be That Girl campaign isn’t about abstinence; it’s about drinking responsibly,” he says. “We want students to keep their heads.”
A fourth-year student in the concurrent education program, MacLeod has been out through Welcome Week, staffing a booth to distribute literature and gear reminding students to moderate their behaviour. One of the tools he promotes is the e-Chug Challenge, an online self-assessment tool that provides participants with personalized feedback on their use of alcohol.
“It looks at your life and gives concrete examples of how your life could be different, like what you could do with the money you would save if you cut back on drinks,” he says. “It’s really an eye-opener.”
Students who visit his booth also have the opportunity to enter the Beats over Buzz draw, which offers ballots for a chance to win one of two pairs of Dr. Dre Beats Solo headphones.
“I noticed that a lot of students keep their headphones around their necks, so I thought offering a high-quality set of expensive headphones would attract them,” says MacLeod.