The 2017 Governor’s Summit on Alcohol and Other Drug Use in Higher Education took place at the Erickson Alumni Center on Monday.
Over 250 people from across West Virginia gathered to attend the summit that was held by the West Virginia Collegiate Initiative to address high risk alcohol use. (WVCIA)
“Part of it is to help people decrease the stigma and encourage them to seek the help that’s available. Most of our campuses have free counseling services and a variety of different screenings so that’s the biggest thing is to get students through the door and let them know that they are not alone,” said Susie Mullens, from the WVU Carruth Center.
The summit is an opportunity for professionals in various fields to learn more about a wide range of issues related to alcohol and other drugs.
“A lot of students get in the mentality that ‘These are my college years. This is what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to drink a lot, I’m supposed to smoke pot, I’m supposed to do all of these kinds of things.’ I think a lot of students don’t understand the risk that is involved with binge drinking, with overusing substances like marijuana,” said Shanan Spencer, co-chair of the WVCIA.
College and university presidents from all over the state were invited to participate in the signing of the Presidential Pact. This affirms college and university presidents’ commitment to addressing the issue of alcohol and other drugs on their campuses and in their communities.
“We recognize that students may drink if they are of a legal age. We want to educate them to do it safely. We want to rid our campuses of alcohol or drug use. Especially alcohol for underage. And educate our counselors, our student affairs staff, our law enforcement on new trends and training things that are happening today,” said Candace Layne, Co-Chair of the WVCIA.
The summit concluded with a tour of the serenity place which is the home of WVU Collegiate recovery.