In an effort to encourage responsibility in the use of alcohol, college students over the nation were challenged by the Inter-Association Task Force on Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse Issues to write an op-ed essay about the ways students can emphasize personal responsibility.
Submissions were sent to Richmond, VA, where they were evaluated by a panel of 20 judges.
Fort Hays State University student Laura Fisher, Hays sophomore, was nationally recognized for her essay "Magic Marker, Permanent Mark." Fisher was one of two second-place winners.
"I wasn't expecting to make it far in the contest," Fisher said. "So when I saw that my essay even made it to the final 10, I was surprised. It was a great honor to be chosen as one of the finalists."
Fisher will receive an award of $1,000 and her essay will be published through the Inter-Association Task Force on Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse.
The IATF is a coalition of organizations who raise awareness about substance abuse through various activities such as the essay contest. FHSU President Dr. Edward H. Hammond is chair of the organization.
"I think that this competition does greatly help to raise student awareness when it comes to the issues that surround the consumption of alcohol," said Fisher. "My essay was based on a night when I was a designated driver for another friend who had way too much to drink, which I felt was a situation that many college students could relate to."
"I hope that others who read my essay realize that drinking does occur on college campuses, but there are smart ways to go about it," Fisher said. "Picking a designated driver and looking out for your friends are simple steps that can be taken to make a night out much safer for all involved."