While student athletes at St. Olaf might not be able to participate in any of the functions taking place during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, I believe that they can still make a dramatic impact on alcohol awareness, because they are role models to the rest of the student body. Even something as simple as discouraging underage friends from drinking, or encouraging those who are of legal age to drink in moderation, can inspire positive change.
Furthermore, alcohol awareness is not just something that should be promoted for one week; rather, the importance of this matter must be emphasized year-round. Especially on a dry-campus like St. Olaf, the importance of alcohol awareness cannot be overstated, and I urge St. Olaf athletes to take care in setting a good example for the rest of the St. Olaf community. The actions of St. Olaf athletes, however, have the potential to resonate far beyond Manitou Heights. From the kids in St. Olaf sweatshirts who run around in the bleachers at Ade Christianson field every Saturday, to the unwavering devotion of countless Ole fans, the athletes of St. Olaf have an opportunity to send the right message. National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week provides all St. Olaf students an opportunity to promote alcohol awareness. I challenge Ole athletes to lead this movement and make their voices heard, because I believe that sports are about more than just the game. For more information on the events taking place during the week, and student resources, please visit: (www.ncaa.org).
In memory of Mike Evenson and Julius Young, two graduates from Rochester-Mayo High School.