Health Services provides pizza, drink at the Whitt before Tiësto concert
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 02:03
Bright neon lights, ear-shattering music, cut, cropped clothes and hundreds of drunken kids is normally the scene for events such as the Tiësto concert at the Whittemore Center on Friday, Feb. 22.
In order to give students an alternative way to prepare for the concert, the office of Health Services hosted a pre-Tiësto Domino’s pizza party at the Whittemore Center from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday.
“This is so students have a safe and fun night,” said Melissa Garvey, an advisor for the event and an alcohol, tobacco and drug educator/advisor at the Office of Health Services. “We’re making sure students have food in their stomachs and are well-hydrated if they’ll be drinking.”
This program was organized through Substance Awareness through Functional Education. SAFE is the same group that put on the pancake breakfast at the tailgating event during homecoming.
At the event on Friday, there were free pizzas and drinks. There were also free prizes for the first 100 UNH students at the door and chances to win autographed Tiësto CDs, concert T-shirts, iTunes gift cards, and gift certificates to local businesses. The Electric Dance Music Club was DJing the pre-Tiësto party.
“This is to help kids that will be drinking tonight from taking it too far and passing out,” said sophomore Sarah Maskwa, a member of the SAFE program. “There are over 200 pizzas here – that should help to reduce that.”
Many UNH students walked up to the table stacked with Domino’s pizza and greedily took advantage of the free food. Some took two or three slices at once.
One student even walked in carrying a Durham House of Pizza box and said, “Free pizza! Damn, why did I pay for this?”
UNH students attending this event felt that it was a good idea that Health Services was hosting the pre-Tiësto party.
“There are always more arrests at these events” Garvey said. “Our purpose is to work in conjunction with enforcement as a prevention tool.”
SAFE is part of a Peer Education group. According to Garvey, the program’s goals are for students to reduce dangerous drinking, to have emergency care on hand for those who need it and to be a “role model structure.”
Although security was tight during Friday’s concert, that didn’t seem to stop students from sneaking in alcohol. Jared Lerch, a freshman at UNH who attended Friday’s concert, said many students were kicked out of the concert.
He also said he saw one student being put into handcuffs and escorted out of the men’s bathroom.
“If people were hiding stuff, it was easy,” Lerch said. “I saw lots of kids with water bottles and mixed drinks.”
However, even with these incidences, Health Service’s efforts did not go unnoticed on Friday. The event was well-received by the 150-plus students who came early. Pizza was also provided to concertgoers lined up outside the Whittemore Center until approximately 8 p.m.
Students were very appreciative of the delicious intervention. Any pizza left over from the pre-concert party was delivered to the three largest dorms on campus, Stoke, Williamson and Christensen. This service was provided by SAFE Peer Educators to further reduce the risk of over-consumption of alcohol during pre-gaming hours.
Although Lerch did not attend the Domino’s pre-Tiësto pizza party himself, he said he still believes it was a good idea.
“All kids who went seemed more sober by the end of the night,” Lerch said. “I know some kids in my dorm that came back with pizza.