WMU News

Students learn to socialize without alcohol

Aug. 17, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A social mentoring program for the quiet majority of incoming WMU students who don't plan to make alcohol the mainstay of their social life while in college is entering its third year. Students Socializing Sober or S-3 is funded through a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health with support from the Prevention Network, a nationwide nonprofit agency.

The program features student-led activities and provides a network of supportive peers for first-year college students who want to socialize without the use of alcohol--a group that is getting increasingly militant about the public's misperception of the level of campus drinking. Part of a unique statewide initiative, it matches incoming students with upper-class peers who mentor them in their first month of school. The mentors assist the new students in their transition to college living, introduce them to social activities that don't involve drinking and help them meet new people. S-3 targets freshmen who aren't into the drinking scene, catching them at a critical time in their college careers and helping to orient them toward an alcohol-free college career.

Special events planned include a kick-off picnic from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the Goldsworth Valley Pond, a Hawaii on Ice skating party and two murder mystery theater productions. At each event, there will be drawings for prizes such as a DVD player, combination TV-VCR, discman and mountain bike. In addition, small groups of S-3 mentors and participants compete during the month-long program for participation points, with the groups that earn the most points winning a day trip to Cedar Point.

WMU works with high school counselors across Michigan to encourage incoming first-year students to take part in the program. They and their parents received S-3 materials at summer orientation, and all incoming freshmen received a program description and registration form in the mail.

For more information, contact Victor Manzon in the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention at 616 387-2260.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400