The Students' Union brings students pitchers of beer at the Den for a mere $7 each Thursday evening, but has also partnered with Campus Security and Residence Services to educate students about the dangers of spending too much time in the Den.
Sept. 20-25 marks the eighth annual Alcohol Awareness Week. The project hosts four days of events to educate students about the dangers of alcohol overindulgence including information booths in MacEwan Student Centre, a Jaws of Life demonstration and a mocktail event to give students some tasty alternatives to alcoholic drinks.
Another of the week's events was a 'beer goggles' demonstration in MacEwan Hall where teams of students donned goggles which distorted vision in accordance with increased blood alcohol content. The students then stumbled their way through an obstacle course.
"At 0.16 per cent [blood alcohol content] it's really fucked up," said SU Vice-President Events Alex Vyskocil, who donned the beer goggles. "I don't think I've ever gotten that drunk--well maybe, I just don't remember."
On a more serious note, Vyskocil said the event is important to illustrate the dangers of overindulgence in a common student pastime.
"It's to showcase the things people don't see," said Vyskocil. "We're just trying to push to be safe."
This year, Alcohol Awareness Week was moved from its traditional November date to September, when students return to classes and spend more hours in the Den.
"It allows us more visibility with students because their minds are still fresh," said Campus Security Officer and Alcohol and Drug Awareness Prevention Team Coordinator Keith Uthe. "A lot of students are new adults so hopefully it teaches them that responsibility."
According to Uthe, part of that responsibility is finding a safe ride home after a night at the Den. One safe ride option Uthe wants to educate students about is the Park and Party Pass. The pass is available from Safewalk or any of the Den bartenders and allows students to park free on campus overnight, find a safe ride home and pick up their car in the morning without getting a parking ticket.
Part of this year's Alcohol Awareness Week is also a focus on binge drinking in residence. Residence Services has events planned throughout the week, including a giant snakes and ladders game with alcohol situations and consequences, more beer goggles and a movie night.
"Residence students have been known to binge drink," explained Resident Students' Association President Emily Wyatt. "This is my third year in residence and [drinking] becomes a social aspect. There are always cases of alcohol poisoning."