U greeks gather for awareness

Mike Green doesn’t preach, and he doesn’t pull punches.
Nearly 1,000 University greeks gathered in a Willey Hall auditorium to hear Green’s message: It’s OK to drink — responsibly.
Before Green’s interactive speech began, brightly dressed Spring Jam revelers arrived in lively droves. Rousers bounced around the room and cheers thundered as a flag-toting greek sprinted through the throng.
Then things got rowdy.
Unafraid to use colorful language and outrageous anecdotes, Green caused the crowd to roar with laughter.
“Hey, I don’t want to make this so boring that you all go get a drink right after it’s over,” he said in his full-blown New Jersey accent.
A member of Theta Chi and a recovering alcoholic, Green is in his 20th year of sobriety.
“Just because I can’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t,” he said. “I just want you to learn to drink the stuff the right way.”
Green, who has spoken at more than 1,000 college campuses around the country, immediately made the distinction between alcoholism and alcohol problems.
“How many of you drink?” he asked the assembly. A show of hands revealed an overwhelming majority.
A list of questions followed, each with slightly differing results — except the one that left the room in stone silence.
“How many of you lost a friend in high school because of drinking?” he asked. More than fifty hands went up.
“Any one given (night being) drunk, any one given night, can cost you your life,” he said.
Green uses the term “one-nighter” to describe the many shocking stories he’s been told of people who have been killed, injured or had their image forever tarnished by one night of binge drinking.
Jessica Bushman, College of Liberal Arts junior and Alpha Phi president, said she feels that rules within the greek system regarding drinking have become more strict in the past few years. Bushman said she appreciated the personal perspective on drinking Green provided.
“He put it on a level that we could accept,” she said.
Political science junior Kevin Schuster, a member of Delta Upsilon, said he felt the personal accounts hit home the most.
“I liked his idea of buying someone a drink in exchange for their car keys,” he said.