Razorbacks sponsor alcohol awareness

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas student-athletes and members of Greek life on campus came together for speaker Mark Sterner and his personal message “DUI, A Powerful Lesson” in Barnhill Arena Monday.

The presentation was sponsored by the Razorback Athletic Department as part of its student-athlete development program. In addition, in an effort to enrich the development of other University of Arkansas students, the Razorback Athletic Department reached out to the Greek organizations on campus to share the message.

“Mark’s presentation is a powerful and sobering reminder of the potential consequences of decisions made under the influence of alcohol,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “While we knew that this program would have an impact on our student-athletes, we also felt that sharing a message like this with other campus groups would be beneficial. With Spring Break just around the corner, this was a great opportunity for us to reach out and hopefully influence a lot of young people in their choices in the coming weeks.”

More than 450 students and student-athletes attended the hour-long multi-media presentation in Barnhill Arena.

Sterner’s presentation focuses around his personal story of tragedy and life lessons. Just three months prior to his graduation, Sterner and four fraternity brothers went on Spring Break. On the last night of the trip, Sterner got behind the wheel while intoxicated.Sterner and his fraternity brothers were in an accident that killed three and left Sterner in critical condition. He faced three counts of DUI manslaughter and spent three years in prison for the deaths of his best friends.

In his presentation, Sterner says that he attempts to “put real faces to the tragic consequences of impaired driving.” He shows a videotape that he and his friends made of the trip and it ends just moments before the crash.

The timely message coincides with the University of Arkansas’ Spring Break March 22-28 this year. The presentation is one of several scheduled by the Razorback Office of Student-Athlete Development throughout the year on a variety of topics.

This is the first time the athletic department has extended an opportunity to other organizations on campus to participate in student-athlete development programs. More than a year in the making, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development Eric Wood and student-athlete development coordinator Rodger Hunter worked with Aisha Kenner, the Assistant Director of Students, and Parice Bowser, Director of Greek Life, to coordinate the Greek students’ participation.