Organizations encourage alcohol-free fun

“It’s more fun when you remember what you’ve done.”

Whether students at the College agree or disagree with that statement is somewhat irrelevant, considering they turned out in droves for the third annual LollaNoBooza festival last Tuesday. The event, which was held indoors this year due to vaguely inclement weather, is organized by the Alcohol and Drug Education Program (ADEP) and promotes healthy, sober living through a night of fun activities

Although moved from its usual location in and around Lions Stadium to the confines of the Recreation Center, Packer Hall and Brower Student Center, the event drew more participation and displayed even more attractions than in the last two years.

The Recreation Center housed the now famous inflated Kong Obstacle Course, dodgeball, a clocked speed-pitch, the Jump Rope Jam and a rock-climbing wall. Also, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) provided a Fatal Vision Demonstration with goggles that simulated impaired eyesight. The student center hosted a musical chairs competition and American Gladiators-style jousting, while live music could be heard at the Rathskellar.

Even students who weren’t getting involved in the activities seemed to be enjoying themselves by conversing and catching up with friends they hadn’t seen since May.

In keeping with the LollaNoBooza slogan, non-alcoholic drinks were served throughout the night. Also, T-shirts featuring the events manta handed out as prizes.

“ADEP has many traditionally based programs and seminars, but LollaNoBooza is really just about having fun and welcoming students back to college,” Joe Hadge, ADEP coordinator, said. “Even when it comes to educating students about alcohol and drugs, a little humor never hurt anyone.”

As with its previous LollaNoBooza festivals, ADEP was able to recruit enormous support and participation from student organizations, staff members and faculty departments. Greek life and student athletics played an especially important role by supervising most of the attractions. Information tables in the student center served as a means for organizations to attract interested students.

“These organizations control our campus’ social culture,” Hadge said. “It’s especially important for freshmen and new students at the College to understand that.”

As a member of the College’s women’s cross country team, Lindsay Force, senior special education major, also understands the importance of the event.

“I think it’s great how the various teams and groups on campus can model for the campus community and send out a positive message that you don’t need to drink to have fun,” Force said.

Based on the huge attendance, it would be difficult to call this year’s LollaNoBooza anything but a success. Still, some were left cold by the idea to spread the event across three buildings. Since the rain didn’t arrive until late, and only then in the form of light showers, many students argued that the event could have easily been held outdoors.

“Everything seemed so scattered that we ended up just walking around trying to find our friends the entire night,” Kristen Wozesniewski, junior psychology major, said. “I had a lot more fun the past two years.”

However, some students who attended the festival were obviously intoxicated, while others planned on going drinking after the event had ended. It was clear that for some students this celebration of sobriety was laced with irony.

Hadge knows that ADEP’s message will not reach everyone, but is optimistic about what his organization can accomplish.

“We aren’t looking for a ‘just say no’ thing,” he said. “We’re just telling students that alcohol doesn’t have to play a role in their lives. We’re about overall health and wellness.”