In an effort to change the negative stereotypes associated with the Greek community, San Diego State fraternity and sorority systems are continuing to hold programs to encourage responsible alternatives to drinking and parties.
SDSU’s Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol program had far better attendance this year, which advocates said is an excellent indication of the Greek community’s desire to change the perception some have of the system.
GAMMA is an alcohol peer education program advised by Lori Bednarchik, a violence prevention and Student Health Services educator at the Calpulli Center and her graduate assistant Stephanie Waits. Their focus was to discuss the problems surrounding excessive consumption of alcohol.
Waits said she has been extremely pleased with the turnout for these meetings.
“Programming like GAMMA is really important for the Greek community because it accomplishes the goals: educating Greeks about alcohol and alcohol-related risks, and simultaneously fighting stereotypes that Greeks only care about partying,” Waits said. “Greeks have so much to offer the community and GAMMA is just one great example.”
Some of the topics discussed with students who visit GAMMA’s tabling events on campus are tips about how to turn a drink down, how to tell others not to drink and what to do in the event of alcohol poisoning or alcohol-related injuries.
GAMMA has also begun exploring involvement in other fields, such as hazing-prevention. During Hazing Prevention week, a nationwide awareness campaign held at the beginning of the month, a banner promoting hazing prevention was hung from the front of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity and tabling was done to educate students about the definition of hazing and what can be done as an alternative.
At 8 p.m. tonight, GAMMA will host “Rave Responsibility” at the Granada Ballroom to encourage dry social events. Information about the risks associated with drinking and the alternative options one has at a party will be distributed.
— Compiled by contributor Sean Guardian.