MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University's Health Promotion Office (HPO) received a $19,000 grant for a statewide mentoring program that sponsors alcohol-free events for incoming students. The program is supported by the Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of Drug Control Policy for Campus Connections.

The Campus Connection program, called The Link at NMU, brings together incoming students and upper-class mentors who do not use alcohol or other drugs. The mentors who work on a volunteer basis help the new students adjust to an alcohol-free environment at NMU's campus in hosting a variety of activities.

"We want to make sure students who choose not to drink alcohol right now meet others making the same choices and build a support group," said Lenny Shible, health promotion specialist and project coordinator.

The grant will be used for activities such as movie get-togethers, game nights, sporting events, promotional purposes and to maintain student staff. HPO received about $5,000 more than last year. Most of the additional funding will support a late-night alcohol-free event as part of NMU's Welcome Back Weekend for all students that will take place at the PEIF. It will also be used for special late-night weekend residence hall activities on campus.

"We worked hard for this. We are excited about the opportunities this grant provides," Shible said.

Besides alcohol-free activities, HPO offers an information and referral service that includes consultation and advocacy for the entire campus community about alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, sexual assault and sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

For more information visit www.nmu.edu/hpo or call 906-227-1455.

Prepared By
Miriam Moeller