Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County — Side by side in a large group, hundreds of students at Wilkes University walked-on Tuesday afternoon. They participated in what’s billed as Walk Towards Awareness as part of Alcohol Awareness Week. Gail Holby, who is Wilkes University’s Health & Wellness Services Coordinator, is also an advisor for the student group BACCHUS which organized the one mile walk from the campus to Kirby Park and back. “We like to raise awareness of the underage consequences of what can happen to underage drinking and so forth so that’s our purpose here,” she said. Senior Troy Carey added, “We do want them to understand the possible consequences that can arise from making decisions – harmful decisions anyway – related to alcohol.”
Mr. Carey is student president of the university’s BACCHUS club which focuses on the health and well-being of other students. Even though the New Milford man hasn’t been personally touched by alcohol-related tragedy, he is very much aware of the problems alcohol abuse can cause. “I saw from my hometown anyway a lot of people that were directly affected. I saw like the hurt that it caused. I saw everything that arised from it… families that are never going to be the same again.”
Wilkes University junior Amanda Boyer added, “It can really tear apart families and friends and it’s just all together destructive.” Ms. Boyer said coming from Girardville and experiencing the college life has opened her eyes to the potential problems alcohol can cause for young adults like herself. “This being a college campus, obviously alcohol is abused.”
Each year, more than 1,800 young adults die from alcohol-related incidents. By taking their walk, these students hope to prevent such a tragedy. “I don’t want that to happen to me. I don’t want that to happen to my friends or anywhere here on the Wilkes campus,” said Mr. Carey.
Besides the walk, Wilkes University has other alcohol awareness programs scheduled this week – including using driving simulators on Wednesday to illustrate the dangers of mixing alcohol with driving.