Friday, April 20, 2007

Quilting Perceptions of Alcoholism

In the lobby of the Student Center, two students sat behind a table covered in a large piece of red fabric laden with crossing lines, images and letters.

The blues, greens, reds and golds in fabric paint on the quilt captured the gaze of anyone who glanced in the direction of the Student Center cafeteria.

The first Alcohol Awareness Quilt, sponsored by Wellness Education and the Drop-In Center, allows students and faculty to express their experiences and thoughts about alcohol and alcoholism.

"Each block is intended to represent a time, place or person that stands out in your mind that is forever linked to alcohol. It is not meant to preach, minimize, flaunt or tout the effects of alcohol or those who use it," read a card handed out by the students sitting at the quilt.

"There are no limitations on what people can put on them," said Amie MacMath, the source of the idea for the quilt. "It's not censored."

Some of them are actually in favor of alcohol. One person drew a martini glass with an olive in it. Another student wrote "Friends don't let friends take ugly people home."

According to MacMath, "It's not about preaching to them that alcohol is bad." Still, some students wrote about being responsible while drinking, friends who had died in drunk driving accidents and their satisfaction about being sober.

One person even wrote simply "I'm sober" on his square, accompanied by a squiggle in green, red, blue and black.

The white fabric squares were cut on the sides with pinking shears, giving them a zig-zag edge. They sat in a pile in front of the students volunteering to be at the table, who called out to everyone to participate.

Anyone who came by could take a square and write or draw on it with fabric paints. "Alc-i is just as wacky as tobacc-i," wrote one student on one of the pieces. The squares were then sewn onto a large piece of red fabric.

About 12 students volunteered their time to pass out fabric pieces for students and faculty to decorate. The volunteers were mostly peer advocates with the Drop-In Center, but also included student workers and service learning students.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. MacMath said that Wellness Education wanted to do something to educate the campus about this subject. "Everyone is affected by alcohol, even if they don't drink it themselves," MacMath said.

MacMath said that they wanted to do this because of the success of their mirror project, run earlier in the semester. "Students could put how they felt in a tangible thing that people could see."


McIntyre, Douglas

No comments: