Because of weather implications, the annual Day of Clarity event, run by Greek life here on campus, was held in the Mabel Brown Room last Friday.
The Executive Vice President of the Interfraternal Committee at Keene State College (KSC) Kyle Hastbacka explained that the Day of Clarity event is held every year to promote awareness and education around alcohol and substance use and abuse. “The Day of Clarity is a once-a-year event held by fraternity and sorority life. We hold it to promote a day of sobriety on campus. Sometimes, there’s a bad reputation that goes around for Greek life with drinking and drugs. We’re trying to fight that stereotype by promoting fun and safe alternatives to drinking and drugs. It’s planned every year by a whole committee from all the different Greek organizations,” he said.
The Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life & Student Leadership Brandon Mathieu made it clear that the weather played a big effect on the event itself. “We normally do it outside on the Student Center lawn. We’ve been really lucky the last couple of years where it has been gorgeous weather. Unfortunately, this year mother nature wanted to play a trick on us. Historically, we’ve had events where Phi Lamb fraternity hosted the beer goggles with the golf carts,” he said.
Even though there was a last minute change of location, there was still plenty to do at the event itself. “We do different activities where you can learn about your blood alcohol content level, or your BAC. Like how do you lower it and what causes it to get higher? We do education on what the actual serving sizes for alcohol are, whether that be beer, liquor or wine. We do pamphlets, handouts and just different activities that promote a positive message around alcohol consumption and appropriate use,” Mathieu said.
Mathieu stated that he’s not worried about the attendance for the event. “I think the students involved have done a really good job of promoting this event for the last couple of weeks on social media, word of mouth and posters. So, I think the turnout will be great. I also think the message that people take away is one that is related to safety and responsibility,” he said.
Vincent Pagan, a member of Sigma Pi, described how the event is a way for different organizations to come together and support a great cause. “For the event overall, the goal was to have as many Greek organizations as possible pair up with another organization on campus. An example of that would be Sigma Pi pairing up with the counseling center and Phi Sigma Sigma pairing with Lift. We also extended the invitation to join to many sports teams, mentoring groups and large programs on campus that cared to help the cause. There was also a handful of live local bands and WKNH playing music,” he said.
Hastbacka explained that he hopes this event will reach out particularly to first years on campus. “I think it’s really important, especially for new students. These students are new to college and don’t really know that there are alternatives to drinking and drugs. They come here and get caught up in it. They think it’s the normal thing to do when in reality, there’s so many other things you could do. So, I think it’s really important that we show these alternatives and show that even in Greek life, there are other things that we are about, not just about partying. There’s so much more out there that we could be doing with our college experience,” he said.
He went on to describe why these alternatives are so important. “I hope that the people who don’t always think about the alternatives to what they’re doing can come up with some ideas. Maybe, if there’s even a few nights where instead of going out to the bar or going to a party, they might stay in and do something else that is safer and healthier,” he said.
Pagan explained, in his opinion, what his favorite part of the event was. “Personally, my favorite part was the airport theme to “get your head out of the clouds” with airplanes representing being above the influence, aka the clouds. I also really enjoyed the carnival-like feel we shot for and all the live music,” he said.
Grace Kelly can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org