An emotional first-hand account of the dangers of alcohol abuse was the feature of an alcohol awareness vigil held in the Hirst Lounge of Wilson Commons on Wednesday.

Peggy Duffy of Stop DWI of Monroe County spoke at length on the loss of her sister and her father to two different intoxicated drivers.

“The reason I choose to tell people my story is not to get their sympathy,” Duffy said. “That doesn’t matter to me. What does matter to me is how many families are going through this in 2005 when this is a completely preventable crime.”

Students were moved by Duffy’s first-hand account.

“It was interesting,” junior Jamie Svenson said. “It gets to your emotions when someone tells their story first-hand.”

Attendees of the event were given glow sticks to honor those lost as a result of alcohol abuse.

“I’m glad I came,” junior Ryan Severson said. “It was a good presentation because it makes you aware of the dangers that excessive alcohol poses. The speaker went through a horrible tragedy and it puts a face on the consequences of irresponsible alcohol abuse. It really made me think.”

Also featured was a performance by the Vocal Point a cappella group and an address by Medical Emergency Response Team Assistant Director of Operations Alex Cornwall on alcohol on campus.

“If you’re going to drink, you’re going to drink,” Cornwall said. “Just please drink safely.”

The event was sponsored by the Health Promotions Office, Burton/Lovejoy Hall Council, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority, Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.

“We wanted to spread awareness of the consequences of alcohol abuse and the risk it poses to the community and campus and make people think about their own actions with alcohol,” Health Promotions Office worker and sophomore Jill Tschamler said.

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