Speaker talks safe drinking habits

More than 60 students gathered in Ford Chapel to hear Mike Green, an alcohol awareness specialist and founder of Collegiate Consultants, deliver a presentation on safe drinking habits on Thursday, Nov. 6, as part of the four-part Wellness Series sponsored by the Office of Student Life.

Green’s speech, titled “The Ten Spot,” focused on minimizing risk among college students who drink. He is a recovering alcoholic who specializes in prevention techniques when drinking.

Green visits Allegheny every four years, typically around orientation, according to Joseph DiChristina, dean of students. This is Green’s third time on campus.

You don’t have to be an alcoholic to have an alcohol problem.

— Mike Green

“I love his message. His message about caring for other people,” DiChristina said.

Green spoke for nearly an hour in front of a mixed group of students including members of several fraternities and athletic teams. His upbeat style and injections of humor kept the atmosphere positive, and he said he appreciated the participation from the audience.

Green did not try to dissuade people from drinking, but rather emphasized the need to be responsible and to have the wherewithal to know when to stop. The term ‘spotting’ was used as a theme throughout the entire presentation. According to Green, ‘spotting’ is a technique that all students need to follow when they go out to party or drink.

“You’re trying to protect your friends from putting themselves in risky situations. It’s called reducing the risk,” he said.

Green incorporated stories and personal experience into his presentation. He routinely used real life stories about students who have had one bad night of drinking that negatively affected their lives.

“You don’t have to be an alcoholic to have an alcohol problem,” he said.

Although this event was a planned installment by the Wellness Series, DiChristina admitted that Allegheny does have serious alcohol-related incidents.

“Yes, we do have problems. One way to fix a problem is to acknowledge it and that’s why we’re here,” DiChristina said.

Todd Johnson, campus security officer, agrees with DiChristina’s assessment, as well as Green’s message.

“I think it makes it more conscientious to the students, like [Green] said, to have spotters out with them,” Johnson said. “I think it’s important to have students who aren’t going out to drink, to help keep the other students in check, to let them know if they think they’re having too much. Moderation is the biggest thing.”

The students that attended the event reacted well to Green’s message. Taylor Massart, ’17, appreciated Green’s speech.

“It wasn’t your typical lecture about how you shouldn’t drink,” Massart said. “He informed us on how to be smart and careful. It would have been nice to see more people there but overall I thought it was good.”

Green will continue speaking to other colleges across the country, spreading his ideas on safe drinking habits.

This semester’s Wellness Series will conclude with three more Bystander Training events. The upcoming dates for the training are Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 4.