Unique Partnerships Keep It Social at StFX

Antigonish, September 1, 2017Antigonish is once again welcoming hundreds of new students excited to begin their first year at St. Francis Xavier University and forge new friendships during Orientation Week.

At the NSLC, we want to support those students in having a positive experience, so we have partnered with the university, which is working with local RCMP and the Town of Antigonish to safely welcome new and returning students to the community.

We care about our customers and communities and want to do whatever we can to help keep them safe. That’s why we are conducting this test pilot to collaboratively promote our Keep it Social program, an initiative to help educate university students about the harms of high-risk drinking.

The NSLC developed Keep It Social in partnership with most Nova Scotia universities to raise awareness and conversation about this important issue. “Keep It Social served as a catalyst on our campus in 2013 that began a deeper conversation amongst our students regarding alcohol consumption,” said Shannon Travers, Manager of Student Life at St. FX.

Rooted in reality, Keep It Social doesn't vilify beverage alcohol or the students who choose to drink. Instead, it paints a clear picture of what social consumption in moderation looks like, reminding students that it's always best to Keep it Social.

“We did our homework in developing this program, working closely with universities. It’s a success because it’s a peer to peer program. It’s crucial to have the support of university administrators but it’s the student organizations that implement the program and that’s why it’s working,” said Beth Martin, manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at the NSLC.

The town, RCMP and university will be monitoring celebrations both off and on-campus. NSLC employees will be diligently asking for ID’s in our store and St. FX student-led mocktail tastings will also be held. Keep It Social material will be posted throughout Orientation Week on campus and during the first home opener football game.

“This is a truly collaborative effort aimed at reducing high-risk drinking behaviours. To have such a diverse group of representatives from the community, policing, university and of course, our store, concentrate their efforts and work together is exciting,” Beth said.

Social responsibility surrounding alcohol truly is a community effort, agreed Shannon, adding the university is committed to working with partners both on and off-campus for the safety and education of all St. FX students.

She said students at St. FX have built on the success of Keep It Social over the last few years, launching a student society called Mix It Up and hosting a substance awareness week.

For more information on Keep it Social, visit keepitsocial.ca