UPB hosts Mocktails Social: Party promotes responsible student-drinking

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Photo by: Hannah Lyles

Jasmine and Jessica Wright danced along with other students to DJ Fisher at the UPB Mocktails Social on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. UPB served non-alcoholic beverages explaining the importance of responsible drinking.

Alyssa Hardy, Copy Editor

Serving up specialty drinks and information, the University Programming Board (UPB) held their Mocktails Party on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. as Welcome Week 2012 came to a close.

Both freshmen and seasoned students sipped on cold drinks straight from the “bar” staffed by UPB members while they mingled with their fellow Patriots.  UPB provided more than mocktails, non-alcoholic alternatives to popular cocktails.  They also gave vital information to the students.

Confronting some popular myths like “I can drink and still be in control” and “Drinking isn’t all that dangerous,” UPB members Shuvonta Smalls, a junior graphic design major, and Victoria Moulterie, a senior mass communication major, led a PowerPoint presentation informing the nearly 150 students in attendance about the dangers of underage drinking.

“They need to know not to leave their drink unattended when they go out,” Moulterie said.  “It’s also about different drugs people can slip in your drink to harm you.”

Smalls warned students to play close attention to their surroundings.

“Be aware of your surroundings and who you surround yourself with,” Smalls said.  “And if you do go out in a drinking environment, make sure you’re around someone you trust who is reliable.”

The “bartenders” served up several specialty drinks including “Marion’s Mock Champagne,” “Patriot Punch,” “Francis Freeze” and “The Blue Lagoon,” complete with a floating neon gummy worm.  Senior mass communication major Shane White, a bartender at the Mocktail Party, said he was also making other mixed drinks by request.

According to UPB member Dorian Yeadon, a junior in the nursing program, the majority of the students who attended the event were freshmen.  UPB member Tiffany Neal, a junior biology major, stated listening to the “awareness facts” presented was very important to all the new freshmen.

Student Government Association president Cody Simpson, a senior political science major, also stressed the importance of the information given out by UPB.

“We don’t want our freshmen to drink, because they’re typically underage,” Simpson said. “But just in case they do get in a situation where they’re in a bar, they need to know the precautions and how to handle themselves.”

According to Moulterie, the party was a similar event to one held last year during FMU’s alcohol awareness week held in October.

“We did this during alcohol awareness week last year, and had such a good turnout,” Moulterie said.  “We decided to do it again.”

The Mocktail Party served as more than just an information session.  For freshman political science major Jasmine Hodges, the party was a way to meet new friends.

“I just wanted to come out, have fun and mingle,” Hodges said. “I want to meet people.”