Columbia College’s Campus Crawl serves up mocktails, education

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Ten days after 19-year-old Kelsi Poe fell from a staircase inside Quinton’s Bar & Deli, Columbia College hosted a campus crawl to promote alcohol awareness.

However, the crawl was not directly related to Poe’s incident, said Kim Coke, director of student development at Columbia College.

“We’re trying to be respectful,” Coke said. “This is an incredible teaching moment, but we’re being respectful to both Kelsi and her family.”

The second annual campus crawl was designed with students in mind, said Brittany Candler, President of BACCHUS, a student-lead organization that encourages responsible drinking.

“Campus Crawl is loosely based on a pub crawl, a type of mocktails event,” she said.

Students were encouraged to explore their campus and enjoy each stop.

“There are four stops on the crawl, the three residence halls and then one location for Cougar Village and for other students that live off campus,” Coke said.

Students were served non-alcoholic drinks at each stop. Each stop also had a different theme:

  • The co-ed Banks Hall basement was transformed into an Irish Pub, serving shots of Ginger Ale and green club soda.
  • Dulany Dining Hall hosted off-campus residents who did the hula at their tropical Luau and drank orange and pineapple juice.
  • The female-only Hughes Hall dimmed its lights and howled its Coyote Ugly theme with a line dance and root beer chugging contest.
  • Co-ed Miller Hall residents wore togas on Miller Lawn and served sparkling grape juice in plastic wine glasses to showcase the hall’s Ancient Greece theme.

As the students sipped on sparkling grape juice on Miller Lawn, Andrew Spain, assistant manager for emergency services at University Hospital, spoke about the risks of irresponsible alcohol consumption.

“Let’s be honest,  if you’re going to drink, 21 or not, do it responsibly,” Spain said.

Spain offered several tips for “safe” drinking:

  • Eating. Eating, especially foods full of carbohydrates, prior to consuming alcohol can help the body absorb alcohol more effectively.
  • Rate of consumption. Setting a limit of one drink per hour can help prevent suffering the next day.
  • The “wingman.” Having a buddy or a friend act as a guardian, even if he or she is drinking, can make a difference and keep everyone safer.
  • Have a designated driver. Having a safe ride home can keep someone who has been drinking from getting behind the wheel, and a DUI has longer effects than a bad hangover.
  • Water consumption. Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration and will reduce the effects of a hangover the next day.

Spain stressed the importance of self-responsibility as well.

“Never let someone give you a drink,” said Spain. “It irritates me when I see women victim of date rape drugs, every single weekend. It angers me beyond belief.”

However, Spain’s hope for the evening was simple.

“My goal for this evening is brief education, if you’re going to do it, do it safely, get the fun out of it and live another day,” Spain said.


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Filed under Columbia College, Columbia-Boone County

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