EDINBURG - A forum to discuss the prevention of alcohol abuse will be held Oct. 19 at The University of Texas-Pan American as part of the "NOT HERE" Project and National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week.
The "NOT HERE" Project and the forum, sponsored by the UTPA Bacchus and Gamma Chapter, are part of a national campaign focusing on the need for student leadership to support education, safety and risk reduction strategies regarding alcohol.
The forum will be held at the University Center Circle at 3 p.m., offering an opportunity for students and the rest of the campus community to speak out about how they feel alcohol is viewed, used and portrayed, said Jeanette L. Broshears, alcohol and drug abuse program director at UTPA.
"As administrators, we feel we know what problems we are facing on campus," Broshears said, "but it's very important that we also listen to what the students feel the problems on campus are as well."
According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the United States dropped in 1997 to a historic low, but in Hidalgo County, more than half of all the road deaths were the result of drinking and driving.
The NHTSA also reported that in 1997, 39 percent of the accidents causing fatalities throughout the nation involved alcohol.
"If we took a look at the national statistics, we would have to be naive to think there isn't a problem out there," Broshears said. "We want to put a positive message out there and this is the first step."
For more information about the forum, contact Broshears at 956/381-2659.