By Travis Reynolds
Those who have seen the movie “Beerfest” are familiar with Das Boot, an enormous boot-shaped beer stein requiring practice and dedication to chug without spilling.Eastern’s Rocksoberfest program used the image of Das Boot Thursday as part of a “safe behavior” awareness event covering alcohol, tobacco and safe sex.
“My guess is that people associate Das Boot with beer,” said Chris Porter, a junior music marketing major working at Rocksoberfest.
Porter and other participants of Rocksoberfest handed out tickets to students.
Students got one sticker for every informational booth they visited. When they collected five stickers, they received a free T-shirt, Porter said.
The shirts bore the image of Das Boot against a German flag with the words “Give Booze Das Boot” scripted underneath.
Various sponsors, including the Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control and H.E.A.T. (Health Education Action Team), set up booths on Powell Corner, providing pamphlets, key chains and advice on dealing with alcohol, tobacco and safe sex.
Even though some students had no prior notice of the event, the music and commotion drew a crowd.
“I was coming from the library,” said Abdullah Alhussain, an international student majoring in biology. “I heard all the noise and thought ‘what was all the excitement about?'”
At the Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) booth, education branch manager Sandra Watts passed out pamphlets about the program and alcohol sales rules in general.
“What we want to do is talk to students about alcohol education and give them materials,” Watts said. “Over the last week, we talked to 300 eighth-graders in Lexington alone.”
Watts stressed the ABC’s mission statement, which states alcohol and tobacco should be available only to of-age consumers for purchase and be used responsibly and safely.
In addition to the alcohol and tobacco information, a handful of safe sex booths were set up for students to visit. One booth boasted a “wheel of venereal diseases” with colored sections marked off withnames of different STDs, including syphilis and gonorrhea. Students could spin the wheel for fun or receive the prize for spinning, which was a package of condoms.
Another booth boasted demonstrations of how to put on a condom, using a pair of artificial penises.
“A lot of people put them on wrong,” said Nicole Morris, a senior in Eastern’s dietetics program who provided the demonstrations. The program (Rocksoberfest) is actually really good, because people can get information on a variety of topics.”
This year’s Rocksoberfest is the fifth incarnation of the event, which began at the behest of the Substance Abuse Committee, said Amanda Woods of H.E.A.T. Woods said this year’s event was one of the biggest ever. “I just happened to be passing through,” said Colin Reusch, a public administration graduate student.
“It looks like they’re promoting healthy behaviors. I think it’s a good program because people actually stop… and they’re not leaving. Plus, there’s free food.