On October 19th, NUS Wales and Health Challenge Wales launched their new alcohol awareness campaign, ‘Don’t let your drinking define you’, at our conference in Swansea.
The day included a session on brief intervention training, workshops conducted by NUSSL, NUS UK's Ben Whittaker, Alcohol Concern and Safer Swansea, as well as plenary discussions surrounding the topics of promoting sensible drinking, making a profit, and what challenges and solutions do NUS and students’ unions face with regards to alcohol.
Some of the discussions surrounding alcohol awareness which took place between participating students' unions revolved around bar crawls such as Carnage, the changing demographic of students and how unions need to adapt accordingly.
There were also discussions about whether the student union commercial model need to change to adapt to the changes in demand and spending patterns of students, as well as where does the responsibility rests when dealing with excessive drinking.
The event also saw the launch of the ‘Don’t let your drinking define you’ campaign by NUS Wales and Health Challenge Wales which is a campaign which looks at the wider implications of alcohol abuse amongst our members in colleges and universities in Wales.
NUS Wales Deputy President Lleu Williams noted, "To my knowledge, Wales has never before seen a campaign which looks at the wider implications of alcohol consumption such as the impact it has on students' finances, education and relationships.
For example a student might spend a significant amount of their loan on a few heavy nights out impacting their ability to survive financially for the rest of the semester.
We are keen to promote an attitude towards safer drinking by providing students with more concrete information about the wider impact of their drinking habits."
For the first time, this campaign links these commonplace experiences with excessive drinking, and by highlighting the consequences, hopes to tackle the issue more efficiently.