ADAPT kicks off Safe Halloween Week

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team hosts week of events to encourage students to exercise safe drinking behaviors

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A student signs ADAPT's pledge to practice safe drinking practices.

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team is running their fifth-annual Safe Halloween Week Oct. 23-31. The student organization is hosting events throughout the week to promote safety and awareness of alcohol abuse during Halloween weekend. 

ADAPT will give out free Halloween-themed merchandise, such as water bottles and candy to the first 1,000 students who sign their pledge to practice safe behaviors during Halloween. By encouraging students to sign the pledge, ADAPT hopes to reduce alcohol-related risks and incidents. 

“This year, we ordered a thousand water bottles to give away to people who sign the pledge, so we’re aiming for about a thousand, but we want to go over that if we can,”said Miranda Gali, a fourth-year College student and ADAPT co-chair. 

“A lot of studies have proven that signing a pledge to practice safe behaviors will tangibly improve outcomes in terms of the students practicing safe behaviors,” said Aditya Narayan, a fourth-year College student and ADAPT intern. “This is closely related to social norms theory, which states that if students think that other students are [also] practicing safe habits … then they’ll be more willing to practice safe habits than if they think they are in the minority.”

On Tuesday afternoon, ADAPT hosted a tabling event at the University Programs Council’s Puppies and Pumpkins event, and later that evening, hosted a Halloween game night. 

“Usually we have a lot of positive response,” Gali said. “Students become involved by signing our pledge. They pledge to be an active bystander, take care of their friends [and] practice safe drinking behaviors.” 

“[Students] see that other people are at a party, maybe drinking, and they feel like they need to drink in order to catch up,” Narayan said. “The think, ‘Everyone’s doing it, so I have to as well.’ So we’re just trying to promote the fact that that’s not necessarily the case. Usually, high-risk drinking is in the minority at U.Va., and is the minority of students at U.Va.”

Narayan also highlighted the increased amount of funding and sponsorship for ADAPT from various organizations and commented on their goals to increase the number of signatures from last year. 

This year, ADAPT is organizing Safe Halloween Week with sponsorship from the U.Va Parents’ Fund, University Judiciary Committee, Hoos Got Your Back, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Arts & Sciences Council, Insomnia Cookies, Chi Psi fraternity and Housing and Residence Life. 

“I think that all of this support from the immediate community indicates that people are starting to understand that what we’re doing empirically is working,” Narayan said. “Last year we had roughly 1,100 pledges, so this year we’re hoping for 1,300.” 

On Wednesday and Thursday, tabling will take place on the South Lawn from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Friday at the same time at Student Health on the corner of Brandon Avenue. ADAPT will also have evening hours on Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena and Alderman Library, respectively. The rain site for all events is the first floor lobby of Student Health. 

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