(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College is getting creative with events this semester. Social distancing has brought about a new way for students and staff to get together, and utilizing technology to get students involved in events that would normally happen on campus shows no signs of slowing down.
This month TSTC will recognize Collegiate Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week virtually. Current students and staff will be invited via a link that will guide them to an online hangout where different topics will be discussed. TSTC counselor Angela Dunn talked about the importance of the events, as well as what she hopes students will gain from attending.
“Collegiate Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week is an educational week held in institutions of higher education nationwide,” she said. “Alcohol and drug safety should be a priority throughout the year for colleges and universities, but this week is a helpful reminder to follow best practices and to bring attention to issues posed by excessive drinking or drug use among college students.”
The week will consist of various digital activities, including participants taking part in making graffiti art, an overview of making “mocktails,” and a Netflix watch party. As with any event, there were a few logistics that needed to be figured out to make sure that things run smoothly.
“All event planning comes with its own challenges,” she said. “Engaging students to attend the event is the hardest part of hosting virtual events. Other challenges are technical issues or participants not having supplies if it’s an activity.”
The activities planned for the week involve using household items, which Dunn said will allow for more students and staff to participate.
“We utilize generic items around the house that most people will have,” she said. “In order to avoid technical issues, we practice ahead of time to try to minimize any errors that might occur.”
Ultimately, virtual events such as this are to benefit students.
“Our hope is to open a line of communication within the college community,” she said. “We want to educate students on how to recognize the signs and behaviors of someone who might have issues with alcohol or drug abuse and teach students how to deal with stress in a healthier way.”
TSTC’s Collegiate Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week begins on Monday, Oct. 19.
To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.