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New UW-Eau Claire Students to Visit
'The Real World' and Party House

RELEASED: Aug. 22, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will welcome 2,016 new students this fall. In an effort to inform responsible decision making regarding alcohol, sex and drugs, all first years students will attend an event intended to educate them about potentially dangerous behaviors.

This year's event, set for Thursday, Sept. 8, will pair Party House, an award-winning local program, with presentations by Randy and Ruthie, stars of MTV's "The Real World."

Party House, an interactive program that allows students, while sober, to witness the dangers of high-risk drinking, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena. Developed in 1996, it was runner-up for the National Association of College and University Residence Halls Program of the Year. The program has been completely redesigned by a team of students and staff to reflect the most current issues facing UW-Eau Claire students.

Returning students, including resident assistants, have been actively involved in the development of the experiential learning scenarios and will serve as guides and actors throughout the program.

"I never realized how expensive drinking is over the course of a semester until I started doing research for one of the booths at Party House," said senior Sarah Anderson, an organizational communications major and Putnam Hall resident assistant. "I learned that if you went to one house party per week for the entire semester, you would end up spending $70 over the course of the semester. I have a lot better things to spend $70 on!" Anderson said.

"I think Party House will be a chance for all of us in the University community to think about alcohol for an evening, so that we can try to decrease the high risk types of activities that come along with alcohol abuse," said January Boten, director of Putnam Hall.

Randy and Ruthie will take the stage at 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public but requires a ticket, available at the University Service Center at no cost.

Ruthie was seen publicly battling her alcohol problems on MTV's "The Real World," but since the show aired she has overcome her issues and now explains how crazy life can get when alcohol and drugs take over. Randy approaches alcohol and drug addiction from a different perspective. He worked in the bar and club scene for years and has seen the detrimental effects that abuse can cause. The two combine to present the issue of alcohol and substance abuse from two different perspectives — the person dealing with addiction and the people affected by it.

Funding for this program is made possible in part by the U.S. Department of Education grant to reduce high-risk drinking on the UW-Eau Claire campus. With this grant assistance, UW-Eau Claire is aiming for a five percent reduction in high-risk drinking by first-year students over the next two years. This program is a first step in that effort.

Press kit information is available online. Interviews with presenters must be scheduled in advance and can be coordinated by contacting Paula Stuettgen at (715) 836-4803 or stuettpj@uwec.edu.

Offices at UW-Eau Claire also sponsoring this program include Advising and New Student Initiatives, Center for Alcohol Studies and Education, Center for Awareness of Sexual Assault, First-Year Experience Program, Housing and Residence Life, Student Health Service, Student Senate, University Activities Commission, and Activities and Programs.

For more information contact Paul Shepherd, assistant director of Housing and Residence Life, shephepr@uwec.edu or (715) 836-3630; Nicole Wohlrab, Chancellors Hall director, fossenk@uwec.edu or (715) 836-5057; January Boten, Putnam Hall director, botenja@uwec.edu or (715) 836-3442; or Katrina Kane, student committee member, kanekm@uwec.edu or (715) 855-4321.

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NW

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