Not all social activities in which students participate involve the consumption of alcohol. The Health Promotion Office knows that is the case and the staff works very hard to remind students of that fact. Twenty-five percent of NMU students surveyed over a five year period, from 2000-2004, reported not having had drinks containing alcohol in the previous thirty days. The Health Promotion Office works to support the ongoing development and delivery of alcohol-free programs for students on the NMU campus.
Events already in place and being provided by other campus departments on an everyday basis include:
- Housing and Residence Life - A wide range of fun, and sometimes educational, activities planned by hall directors, resident advisers and hall government leaders.
- Recreational Sports - Classes, intramural activities, club sports, and skating in the Berry Events Center.
- Student organizations - More than 300 organizations plan and conduct activities, with something happening nearly every day.
- LateNight at the PEIF - Since 2003, the Student Finance Committee, Greek Council, Intercollegiate Athletics and Rec Sports, the Orientation Office, Public Safety and Police Services, and the Health Promotion Office have collaborated to put on an evening of 100% alcohol-free activities. This fall event caters to almost 1,000 students (almost 1 out of 10 students at NMU) the Friday night before classes. It includes a wide range of activities, opportunities to make friends, and even win prizes (several thousand dollars worth!). Each person attending LateNight @ the PEIF events must pass a preliminary alcohol breath test with a level of 0.00 blood alcohol content to ensure that this event remains alcohol-free. In an environment where many students believe that it is not possible to make friends and have fun unless alcohol is involved, the success of LateNight at the PEIF has demonstrated that it is indeed possible to form new friendships, make good connections, and have fun where there is no alcohol served.
The NMU Health Promotion Office supports alcohol-free activities and programs in a number of ways. The office collaborated with the student government finance committee to purchase and make available a small karaoke system and song library for use by students living in the residence halls or by those involved in student organizations. This equipment (and when available, a student assistant) can be booked at very low cost for use with student groups by calling 906-227-1455 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Health Promotion Office will also partner with student groups or organizations to support their alcohol-free educational and/or social efforts. Each year the office is able to provide a small stipend to a handful of groups to support their efforts.