One of the most important suggestions we want to give you is that prevention programming, and alcohol awareness specifically, should not be limited to only one week. It takes a multi-level concerted campus commitment to these issues to truly make a difference. You spend so much time, energy and money on NCAAW, why not take that momentum and build a year full of activities and educational programming?
National Collegiate Health and Wellness Week
NCHWW is always held the first Sunday in March through the following Saturday. In 2001, that will be March 4-10. This is a great week to sponsor programs that emphasize topics such as nutrition, exercise, mental health, sexual health, and others.
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is always observed on December 1. Perhaps you could sponsor a speaker, or a workshop on "how to help a friend who is HIV-positive." How about a candlelight remembrance program; passing out red ribbons; a display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt? Maybe you could have "A Day Without Art" where you memorialize the impact of the AIDS crisis on the world of art and entertainment by covering up anything on your campus that is artistic. Many campuses choose to observe AIDS awareness weeks or month during February to coincide with Valentine's Day and the obvious event tie-ins available that month.
Women's Health Month
March is Women's Health Month. Perhaps you could hold a women's health fair. Work with a campus sorority to promote breast self-exams to prevent breast cancer. Maybe you could do a program on preventing sexual assault. The possibilities are limitless, and the Women's Center on your campus would probably love to co-sponsor activities with you.
Great American Smokeout, Sexual Responsibility Week, Safe Spring Break
The BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network sponsors these three additional campaigns in November, February, and March. You can build a whole week of activities around the themes, doing programs on topics such as impaired driving prevention, smoking cessation, safer sex, alcohol poisoning, safe travel skills, sun/skin care, and others. For more information on campaigns, see www.bacchusgamma.org or call 303-871-0901.
Finals Stress Busters!
Everyone gets nuts around finals time. So, what can you do to help students manage the stress? Maybe you could pitch a tent in the middle of campus with "stress buster" activities. How about a midnight breakfast where students can get some free nourishment and relieve some stress? Maybe you could put together care packages with healthy food samples from local stores. Maybe host a free massage hour in the union.
Safe Senior Week/Graduation
Why not get out there and talk to those seniors? Remind them to party smart during the celebration. You may want to provide some fun events during their week or pass out promotional items or serve mocktails at an event. Focus on issues such as impaired driving prevention, peer pressure, alcohol poisoning, and more!
Don't Cancel That Class!
Offer to fill in for professors who need to be away from class. Present an interactive health education program to the class. Word will spread fast to other faculty and soon you will have a new avenue for your health messages.