Fort Valley State stresses responsible drinking

With lots of students away from home on spring break vacations and some adding alcohol to the party, Fort Valley State University wants its students to hear from others their age just how important it is to make smart decisions and look after each other.

Anthony White is a student team leader for the peer-driven program, "Be the Sober One."

"Keep a close eye on friends," said White as he read a t-shirt, "Know when to tell your friends to chill out, it's time to go."

Those are just two rules of being the "sober one".

White says the expectation isn't that students will never open a bottle, it's the hope they'll be responsible when they do.

"The Sober One" program teaches incoming freshman the consequences of binge drinking through simulations and games.

"We'll use the drunk goggles, we'll actually spin you around, so you get the type of dizziness that you would get if you're walking," he said, "Then we'll have you put the foot by foot or one of the field tests."

"With my friends, I'm the designated driver, if need be, And when we go out, I kind of monitor in a sense," said senior Keirra Goggins.

She says she doesn't drink at all, but says she'll make sure her friends are safe when they go out.

"I know what to look for, because I've seen it so much. The disorientation, the slurred speech. That's when you need to put it away," she said.

"I don't like drinking to the point where I just get drunk. I don't like feeling like I can't control myself. So, I'll stop at a certain time," said senior Devin Johnson.

For other students of legal drinking drinking age, they say knowing your limit was the key.

"If you're gonna do it, make sure you do it the right way," said senior Karyn Nooks, "Drink some water while you're at it, stay hydrated, especially with the heat and all."

White says the program encourages students to take control in those situations to prevent legal or even fatal consequences.

"You have to live with that for the rest of your life," he said, "Like if I would just tell him stop, calm down, go sit down. If I'd have said that. This wouldn't have happened to my friend."

The program is a part of the school's Tears-2-C coalition that aims to to lower alcohol and substance abuse and drop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.


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