48 Hours of Sobriety

Martin C. Ye

With reading period in full swing, many students look forward to relaxing and letting loose. Often that relaxation comes with a side of alcohol. But Samir S. Faza '15 and Henry H. Wang '15 don't think it has to.

According to the 2010 Harvard College Health Assessment, approximately 73 percent of Harvard students identify as drinkers. However, among incoming freshmen, 78 percent say that they abstain from drinking alcohol.

Recognizing this significant decrease in the percentage of abstainers, Faza and Wang organized "Harvard Goes 48HRS," an initiative to raise support and awareness for non-drinkers.

Last week, the two freshmen asked fellow students to pledge to spend the weekend—the 48 hours from Friday night to Sunday night—enjoying fun activities that didn't involve alcohol.

Students who pledged received a white wristband with crimson letters reading "Harvard Goes 48HRS." The organizers wrote in a press release that the wristbands helped to "commemorate and publicize the event."

Faza and Wang created a list of 48 activities to indulge in while remaining sober. Suggestions included everything from attending ArtsFirst events to packing to shopping for bathing suits for summer.

Students like Annie F. Garofalo '15 took Faza and Wang up on their advice. "This pledge encouraged me and my friends to head over to the movie theater where we enjoyed the movie 'The Five-Year Engagement,' which I highly recommend," Garofalo said.

Overall, 475 students pledged and more than 750 wristbands were distributed.

"I think the idea was really good," Lanya T. Olmsted '15 said. "It was a really cool initiative that I would like to see continue."

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