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Alcohol Awareness Week is running from 11th to 17th November and is a chance to get thinking about alcohol and drinking in moderation. This year’s theme is ‘Alcohol and Me’ and is about understanding your alcohol intake and how to make healthy adjustments to make sure you’re drinking responsibly.

Universities have always had a reputation for drinking, whether it being stories you’ve heard or what you’ve seen on TV, but more commonly now students are choosing not to drink. One of the more frequent questions asked on The Student Room is from pre-arrival students worried about missing out on social activities or making friends because of choosing not to drink.

Chester Students’ Union

We caught up with Rio Hall, Chester Students’ Union’s VP for Activities, to discuss how it is continuing to change attitudes towards alcohol on campus, raise awareness with students and continue to build a healthy student community.


At Chester Students’ Union we are proud that at our 2019 Freshers, 100% of our events were alcohol free. The aim of doing this was so every student could participate, whether they enjoyed alcohol or not. In fact, Chester Students’ Union activities are over 50% alcohol free all year round.

Alcohol can be seen to be a barrier to participation, so by removing this barrier we then can engage with all students, hopefully encouraging friendships for students that will last for their duration at university.

Some of our Freshers events included zorb football, inflatables, dodgeball, a coffee morning, sports activities, Freshers Fair, and Sports and Societies Fair. We had over 3,000 students attend the Freshers Fair and over 2,000 at Sports and Societies Fair.

Whilst we don’t encourage people to drink, we do encourage people to be safe whilst consuming alcohol. University campaigns that are coming up for this include ‘don’t drink and drive’ and ‘don’t drink and drown’.

Chester Students’ Union’s very own Melanie Hooper (Vice President for Education) is also the lead officer on ‘Dry January’. This campaign aims to show that you don’t need to be under the influence of alcohol to participate in social activities. It also supports that wellbeing is a priority and studying doesn’t revolve around alcohol; there are plenty of activities that you can also be involved with.”


Another day another event! Zorb fun -- Thanks to @bubblefootie ⚽

A post shared by Chester Students' Union (@chesterstudentsunion) on


Knowing ‘how much is too much’ can be difficult to realise, but if you’re worried about how much you’re drinking, or how much a friend is drinking, the University’s Support and Wellbeing team offer support for alcohol misuse via Portal.

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