There ain’t no party like the one where I can get my drink on. It sounds like a slam dunk case, there is a party and you drink to enjoy it. But how much should you exactly drink to enjoy it, before staring at the bottom of yet another bottle? To address these questions there is an exciting new project called Drinkwise, and to talk about their mission on behalf of the project is Marina Muşetescu.
The AEGEEan: What, in a nutshell, is the Drink-Wise Project ?
Marina: If you thought that Drinkwise is just about drinking, think again! With the motto “Think before you drink” we are raising awareness about both cultural and health aspects affiliated with drinking. Drinkwise is striving to explore issues related to drinking and aspects of the drinking culture that make us feel united or divided, to highlight the importance of traditional drinks as part of our local culture, and to promote responsible and healthy drinking habits.
Why, according to you, is it important to have something like Drink-Wise?
Drinkwise is the first body in AEGEE that will (finally) develop some documents concerning the social impact and traditions of our association. For example, we organised a workshop at Agora Chișinău on “how to organise an unforgettable European Night” and soon we will share our papers, so keep in touch! But in addition to that, irresponsible drinking is a timeless issue that it is better to tackle now with Drinkwise, because the life of a student conceals some dangers.
What are your plans for your project ?
First of all, we are planning some conferences to raise awareness about healthy consumption of alcohol. We will try to make AEGEEans involved in regular online (live) meetings were we can inform them about our researches, socialise and receive a feedback that will help us develop a toolkit for the locals, so they can organise successful social programmes. But, in such an association like AEGEE, the opportunities for collaboration are endless and, paired with the great ideas that always come up in AEGEE, this project, with its very current and timeless theme as well as with a team of seven highly motivated people, is in for a very successful year.
The clock is ticking, do you have a timeline for your activities?
Starting our actions from Agora Chișinău, our project will close at Agora Catania. The upcoming year will be an amazing opportunity for us to challenge ourselves in order to succeed our goals in time. We are already contacting antennae that can hold our conferences during spring 2017, and we will be really happy to collaborate with locals for the thematic part of their Summer Universities.
How would Drinkwise actually check if some progress regarding responsible drinking takes place in locals?
During the fair at Agora Chișinău, we handed out a questionnaire and we were surprised by the responses. Most of the participants reported to be “very responsible drinkers”, but, from what we witnessed during the European night, our sample did not look as a representative one. We are developing an impact measurement strategy. We will try to collaborate with external projects like Lifestyle in Mobility and ESN’s Responsible Party, that are struggling with the same objective.
Would Drinkwise, if present at an event, comment on the drinking behaviour of AEGEE members or provide help for them, had they drunk too much on European Events?
Yes! All the project team members will be able to provide tips and help to any member in such need. It is in our Drinkwise spirit to volunteer anytime anywhere we see alcohol.
On your plenary presentation at Agora Chișinău, you mentioned that there would be an idea for a taskforce. Could you explain this?
Of course! The story of Drinkwise starts at NWM Ioannina 2014 as “iDrink”, an unofficial fan made project focusing on social meetings. After two years, we are bringing back the idea of iDrink as a taskforce of Drinkwise that will help us develop the social programme toolkit. “Agents” from each local can apply to be part of the taskforces and give us feedback on some successful social meetings (that could be a pub crawl, some drinking games or a city rally).
Written by Willem Laurentzen, AEGEE-Nijmegen