Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow Safety Program Set for April 17

By Persephone Hernandez-Vogt ‘13

On Wednesday, April 17 at 3 pm, Mount Holyoke will host an event on Skinner Green to promote safe driving. The event, Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow Safety Campaign: Driving under the Influence, will allow participants to experience the effects of driving drunk – but without alcohol. Instead, they’ll drive golf carts while wearing fatal vision goggles, which mimic the effects of alcohol consumption.

The event will feature “celebrity drivers,” including MHC President Lynn Pasquerella, professors Vincent Ferraro, Craig Woodard, and Tim Farnum, Assistant Athletics Director Bardee Sadler, and Dean of Students Rene Davis.

In addition to the golf cart activity, organizers will set up stations such as “Pouring a Shot,” “Calculating Blood Alcohol Concentration,” “X the Text,” and field sobriety tests. Finally, participants will be asked to pledge not to drink and drive or text and drive.

“We know that people learn best and will retain what they learn when participating in an interactive, experiential education,” said event coordinator Karen Jacobus, the College’s coordinator of health education. “This event will provide that kind of learning environment.”

She added that Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow will also provide an opportunity for the MHC community to interact with the South Hadley Fire Department and Police Department.

The Alcohol and Drug Awareness Project, a cosponsor of the event, recently received attention from Western Mass Women magazine in an article about women and binge drinking.

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow is cosponsored by Campus Police, the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Project, the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Committee, the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), the South Hadley Fire Department, and the South Hadley Police Department.

In case of rain, the event – which is free and open to the pubic – will be postponed to Thursday, April 18.