HooFest Entertains While Encouraging U.Va. Students to Drink Responsibly

September 10, 2008

September 8, 2008 — The University of Virginia's fifth annual HooFest, an outdoor event that promotes awareness of the effects of alcohol, will be held Sept. 11, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., in the McCormick Road quad.

Hosted by the Office of Health Promotion, HooFest will provide a relaxing atmosphere for students to learn about the U.Va. drinking environment while they enjoy free snacks, "mocktails" and performances by U.Va. a cappella groups. Performers will include the Virginia Gentlemen, Hoos in Treble, Academical Village People, CHoosE, Sil'hooettes, Virginia Belles and Remix.

A goal of HooFest is to promote understanding of blood-alcohol content, or BAC, and encourage students to carry and use wallet-sized BAC cards that help them gauge alcohol's effects.

BAC measures grams of alcohol in a liter of blood. A BAC of .02 to .06 impairs judgment and coordination; at levels higher than .06, reasoning and motor skills are affected. A level higher than .25 may result in unconsciousness, memory loss and injury from falling.

The three levels described on the card are blue (0.02 to 0.06 BAC), orange (0.07 to 0.24 BAC) and red (0.25 BAC or higher). Current survey results indicate that when U.Va. students chose to drink, they have an average BAC of 0.05.

To encourage students to carry the BAC card, student employees of Health Promotion will randomly stop students on Grounds. Those carrying the card will receive $5 in cash on the spot.

In addition to HooFest, students can obtain BAC cards at various locations on and off Grounds, including dining halls, fitness centers, libraries, Student Health and participating merchants on The Corner.

U.Va.'s Office of Health Promotion, a unit of the Department of Student Health, offers a variety of programs for students. The office educates students and provides resources to keep themselves and their friends safe. Programs include, but are not limited to, alcohol awareness, smoking cessation, sexual education, substance abuse and body awareness.

HooFest sponsors include U.Va. Catering, Pepsi, Festive Fare, Virginia Arts and Wild Wing Cafe.

For information on the BAC campaign or HooFest, visit the Office of Health Promotion Web site or contact Bryn Ritchie, social norms marketing intern, at bmr3y@virginia.edu.