October 16, 2006

Water Pong Tournament Raises Alcohol Awareness

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True or false: If an intoxicated person is semi-conscious, you should encourage vomiting. The answer is false, according to Paul Lee ’07, president of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity, at the group’s first annual alcohol awareness “water pong” tournament yesterday. Encouraging the semiconscious person to vomit could cause choking and asphyxiation.

Lee explained the importance of the event, held in Appel Commons.
“We walk around campus all the time and see signs and posters from Gannett warning us about drinking, but sometimes students may not be very responsive to their messages,” he said. “Our chapter has taken the initiative to help teach students, both Greek and non-Greek, of what drinking can do to you.”

Three of the fraternity’s new members came up with the idea to hold the tournament to break down the stereotype that Greeks are only interested in partying, as well as to improve awareness among all students about the dangers of drinking.

“We were curious to know whether there were more Greek students or non-Greek students playing in the tournament,” Lee said. “A lot of Greek chapters have some alcohol awareness training during their membership, so we also wanted to make sure non-Greeks come and learn about the ways to drink safely and responsibly.”

A standard bracket system was used in the tournament, with multiple games being played at the same time and the entry fee was $1 per person. A Powerpoint slideshow with various alcohol facts and true/false trivia questions played throughout the tournament for students to watch while waiting their turn to play.

Lee said, “We added in some true-false questions to entertain and educate the students. We also showed some alcohol awareness videos that we found on YouTube and tri-fold boards with information about alcohol resources on campus.”

Jay Shu ’08, vice president of service for the fraternity, also believes it is important to educate students about the dangers of binge drinking.
“There are so many instances of people getting too drunk,” he said. “We tried to think of a way to raise real interest with the topic of alcohol awareness. The best way to do this would be to have an intense game with alcohol facts and information throughout the tournament.”

He added, “We expected Greeks to come out and play, but it is the non-Greek students who might not necessarily know the dangers of drinking alcohol. These students may go to parties and play beer pong but not realize how much they are actually drinking. By hosting this water pong tournament on North Campus, we are hopefully targeting those students who do not have much alcohol awareness and who are not part of the Greek system.”

The winners of the event were Justin Li ‘10 and Jing Wang ’10, who each received $50 to Best Buy.