University of Wisconsin-Stout

Oct. 31, 2011

After nearly a year in the works, the Stout Student Association has released a video that aims to raise awareness about the issue of high-risk alcohol use.

The SSA decided to produce the video after the alcohol-related death last fall of Bradley Simon, a UW-Stout student who died several days after being pushed from a bicycle.

The video, which can be seen at UW-Stout’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/uwstoutvideos, features interviews with UW-Stout men’s golf and hockey coach Terry Watkins, Dean of Students Joan Thomas and University Police Officer Lisa Pederson. They talk about witnessing the personal toll alcohol has taken on students and the students’ families and friends and urge students to think about the ramifications of alcohol use.

“This is an issue we can all agree on. It’s causing a lot of pain and suffering for a lot of kids, a lot of families,” Watkins said. “I think it’s fixable.”

President Neal Peterson said the SSA produced the video because “the message will hit home more if it comes from students rather than the administration.”

“Our message is to be smart, watch out for your friends and make good decisions,” Peterson said. “It’s something student government should endorse — trying to prevent student deaths.”

The video will be played at freshman orientation events, various campus programs and possibly in classes.

The SSA has initiated other efforts to reduce alcohol use among students, such as encouraging more weekend entertainment opportunities and more civic engagement. It also is looking into providing a late-night safe ride program for students, Peterson said.

SSA member Phil Stoeklen, of Birchwood, oversaw completion of the video.

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