Dec 05 2013

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Destructive Words = Destructive Actions Campaign

By Neema Kanyua ’14

Our ongoing campaign, “Destructive Words = Destructive Actions,” is inspired by Jake Byczkowski.  Jake is a speaker with Campus Speak, and he talks to college students and peer educators on college campuses about alcohol, other drugs, and wellness.  Recently, DAPA had the opportunity to listen to his Keynote “Solo Cup Culture: Minimizing the Risks of an Alcohol-Soaked Campus Climate” and have a conversation with him afterward.  Jake inspired us with his story and how he uses his own experience with alcohol to have open conversations with students about practical ways to minimize the risks related to alcohol on a college campus.  In college, he was a DJ, a brother in a fraternity, and he threw parties as a representative of Red Bull. He immersed himself fully in the drinking world on Ohio State University’s campus.  After finding himself in many dangerous situations as a result of his alcohol consumption, Jake eventually began to question his own problematic behavior and the behavior of his peers who were also immersed in the drinking world.  

During his visit to Harvard’s Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services, DAPA had a great conversation with Jake about his particular message to college students and his vision of creating a new culture on college campuses, where “responsible use of alcohol and safety” are priorities.  His message is not one that condemns alcohol in and of itself. Rather, he considers the main problem to be the harm and danger that often come along with alcohol.  To illustrate just how often alcohol is associated with harm and danger, Jake had us think about the words associated with excessive consumption of alcohol: smashed, hammered, wrecked, etc.  DAPAs in the room were familiar with these and more adjectives, but many of us hadn’t stopped to think of the destructive meaning carried in the literal definition of those worlds.  We think that it’s possible that many people on campus, like us, had never thought about the destruction and harm implied in these words, had never stopped to question why we use such destructive words to describe behavior related to excessive alcohol consumption.  Although Jake did not have the opportunity to speak to our entire campus, we hope that this campaign will bring a small part of his conversation to the rest of the student body.


Find out more about Jake and his message here!: http://www.campuspeak.com/speakers/jake

Follow him on twitter here!: https://twitter.com/JakeTalks2Much

Permanent link to this article: http://www.harvarddapa.org/2013/12/destructivewordsdestructiveactions/

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