#NYUthemoreyouknow aims to educate students on safe drinking

By Kavish Harjai, Staff Writer

via twitter.com

Twitter fanatics may have spotted a trend in the NYU community.

Residence hall Twitter accounts launched an initiative in September to tweet alcohol-related facts with the hashtag #NYUTHEMOREYOUKNOW.

These facts are part of the Residential Life and Student Affairs’ initiative AlcoholFYI, which was designed to caution students about the dangers of underage alcohol consumption.

Vice president of communications of the Inter-Residence Hall Council Harrison Hill explained that the tweets attempt to encourage students to follow the university policy on underage drinking, which is prohibited in residential halls.

“Many of the tweets take an unorthodox approach to alcohol education and make residents think about other ramifications of drinking, such as the financial strain and long-term health and wellness impacts like impotence and weight gain,” Hill said.

For example, Weinstein residence hall tweeted “AlcoholFYI: Excessive drinking can decrease the amount of testosterone in a man’s body and cause impotence. #NYUTHEMOREYOUKNOW,” and Rubin residence hall tweeted “#AlcoholFYI A daily glass of wine will add 10lbs each year #nyuthemoreyouknow #rubincares.”

However, some students said they interpreted the university’s initiative as a way to instill fear in students, and that they would not change students’ views.

“Fear is not the way to combat the issue,” CAS freshman Max Raderstorf said. “I am educated on the topic of alcohol, and I have heard just about anything that you can throw at me.”

CAS freshman Revathi Krishnan also said the tweets will not affect her decision to drink.

“I’m fine with drinking,” Krishnan said. “What someone else thinks doesn’t affect me. I have it under control.”

NYU spokesman Philip Lentz said AlcoholFYI is not the only program aimed at alcohol and drug education.

“The tweets are one of a number of initiatives conducted in the residences to help inform students about the consequences of using alcohol and other substances,” Lentz said. “These include evening programs run by the residence hall staff, residence hall floor signage and bulletin board informational literature.”

Some of these evening programs include Third North residence hall’s recent Cocktails with a Twist program, which was aimed at educating students about the dangers of rohypnol, the date rape drug.

A resident assistant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said discussing underaged drinking was important.

“We go on hospital runs and see the effects of people not knowing what they are doing,” the RA said. “But because [the Twitter initiative] is coming from an authority who has an underlying motive, it may be ineffective as opposed to a student saying, ‘Hey, be careful.’”

Despite what some students have said, Hill said these initiatives appear to have a positive effect on the students.

“It seems as though the tweets have garnered attention throughout the NYU community,” Hill said. “The Inter-Residence Hall Council believes that the tweets are effective insofar as they provide residents with information that will help them make better informed decisions about drinking.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 3 print edition. Kavish Harjai is a contributing article. Email him at [email protected]