TU garners grant to reduce alcohol abuse

by Eryn Hornberger
Staff Writer

Choices. We all must make them, and now that we’re on our own, at least slightly, we have to make them ourselves.

Tempting as the party life may seem, Ashley Hinton-Moncer, Transylvania University’s director of fitness and wellness, is taking the initiative to show that there are other options to drinking. To do this, she is providing other campus activities on the weekends as well as information about how students can drink responsibly.

Not oblivious to the idea that drinking in college does happen, Hinton-Moncer is making every effort to teach students about responsible and safe drinking, as well as make them aware of the real statistics concerning the percentage of college students who don’t drink.

“There are a lot of misperceptions, and we want to alleviate those,” said Hinton-Moncer.

With these goals in mind, Hinton-Moncer applied for the NCAA Choices grant last winter term. Thanks to her work, Transylvania received the grant that offers funding for NCAA member institutions to join their athletics with the campus community to diminish alcohol abuse.

The grant lasts over a three-year period to allow the recipient institutions to start programs in hopes that they will be able to provide further assistance in the future to continue and develop the original efforts.

This first year, the grant provides $15,000 for approved start-up initiatives. The second year, Transy will receive $10,000 to continue their efforts and then $5,000 for the last year. The grant comes from the NCAA Foundation and Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.

Transy will match the grant each year to ensure funding after the grant period is over. By providing the funds in this manner, the goal is for Transy to both continue and develop these programs they were originally assisted in creating.

Already, the grant has been used to pay for the alcohol presentation during first-year orientation and has allowed for two substance-free living spaces on campus: the third floor of Clay Hall and the front hallway on the third floor in Forrer Hall. The resident advisers for these areas have each agreed to this and were given additional funds to offer alternative activities and socials for their hall members.

Upcoming events sponsored by the Choices grant include the tailgate party for men’s soccer on Oct. 1, the field hockey game tailgate on Oct. 7and a presentation on alcohol on Oct. 4. Additionally, the grant will be used to sponsor four of Cru’s midnight pancake events in the Clay-Davis basement.

College is another step in the learning process of life — and not only academically. Everyone’s still really growing up and testing the limits. We’re all bound to make mistakes, but being smart about every decision and taking all advice will help in the long run.

So, if or when mistakes happen, especially with the abuse of alcohol, recognize them and make changes, and support your friends.

Related stories: Transylvania alcohol policy revamped, Shearer declines to sign Amethyst Initiative.

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