USD receives award for alcohol awareness

USD receives award for alcohol awareness The National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) programming competition has selected The University of South Dakota's substance abuse program as an award winner for the 2000-2001 school year.

During one week each year, colleges and universities across the country host programs and activities designed to promote responsible drinking and respect for alcohol consumption policies. The NCAAW judges each campus' activities and programs and presents awards to outstanding institutions.

Throughout the week, students are urged to sponsor events aimed at providing campuses with an opportunity to showcase healthy lifestyles free from the abuse or illegal use of alcohol and to combat negative stereotypes of college drinking behavior.

Matt Stricherz, director of the student counseling at the USD Student Counseling Center, said USD tries to create alcohol awareness programs all year long, not just for one week.

"This is the second year we have been recognized by them. Last year we received an honorable mention for our efforts throughout the entire year. This year we moved into the level of cash prizes, which is considered to be one of the premier awards in the United States," he said.

USD was awarded $1,500 to use for further programs in alcohol awareness. Groups such as Student Counseling, Greek Life, Residential Life, Program Council and Residential Life all incorporate alcohol awareness programs each year.

"Throughout the entire United States, alcohol and the associated problems face every university, every college, every vocational school and every professional school. USD looks to reduce the incidents of high-risk drinking," he said.

Stricherz said USD tries to show students the importance of wise decision-making.

"We want to focus on low-risk drinking and responsible choices. I don't think we ever have an emphasis on any type of drinking, but if people do make the choice to drink we want them to do it responsibly."

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