Students promote healthy
by Jenny Gerow
morning 442 runners, including 251 fourth-year students, participated
in the Fourth-Year 5K race. Sponsored by the Office of Health
Promotion, the run benefits the Leslie Baltz Foundation and
offers students a healthier way to celebrate the last home
football game than the dubious tradition of fourth-years drinking
a fifth of alcohol.
cheering the Cavaliers to victory over Penn State in the last
home football game Dec. 1, U.Va. students and others ran or walked,
listened or lit candles to support two worthy causes: curbing
alcohol abuse, specifically targeting the fourth-year fifth,
and commemorating World AIDS Day.
walking candlelight vigil was held last week to increase HIV/AIDS
awareness in the community.
University community marked World AIDS Day Dec. 1
with several events around that date, from a talk by Ronald Bayer,
a Columbia University professor and author of the 2000 book, AIDS
Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic, to a banner-making contest
sponsored by the Nursing School.
the AIDS epidemic began 20 years ago, more than 60 million people
have been infected with the virus, according to the Joint United
Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. At the end of 2001, an estimated
40 million people globally were living with HIV. HIV/AIDS is now
the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. In many parts
of the developing world, the majority of new infections occurred
in young adults, with young women especially vulnerable. About
one-third of those currently living with HIV/AIDS are aged 15-24.
Most of them do not know they carry the virus. Many millions more
know nothing or too little about HIV to protect themselves against
help increase awareness about HIV/AIDS at U.Va.
and in the Charlottesville community, a walking candlelight vigil
was held Nov. 29, sponsored by the by AIDS Services Group and
U.Va. Nursing Schools HIV/AIDS course. Participants met
outside Harris Teeter that evening and walked to Carrs Field.
The event included remarks by nursing professor Reba Childress
and others and the reading of the names of those who have died
of AIDS. Students displayed banners commemorating World AIDS Day
that they made for a Nursing School fundraiser. Twenty minutes
of candlelight were meant to signify the 20 years since AIDS was
of the AIDS Memorial Quilt were displayed in Newcomb Hall Monday
through Wednesday. The quilt, begun in 1987, comprises more than
44,000 colorful panels, smaller portions of which make up traveling
exhibits for prevention education. The AIDS Quilt is the largest
ongoing community arts project in the world. The exhibit was brought
here by Promoting Negativity, a student group dedicated
to promoting an HIV-negative University.
to the fourth-year fifth
morning, 442 participants, including 251 fourthyear students
and other members of the University and local communities, arose
early and went to the starting line at the Aquatics and Fitness
Center for the Fourth-Year 5K race. Sponsored by the Office of
Health Promotion and Peer Health Education, the run benefits the
Leslie Baltz Foundation.
race, held for the first time in 1992, was originally organized
to offer a healthier way to celebrate the last home football game
than the dubious tradition of fourth-year students drinking a
fifth of alcohol. Then in 1997, fourth-year student Leslie Baltz
died in an alcohol-related fall on the day of the final home football
game, and her parents established a scholarship fund in her name.
student group called Fourth-Years Acting Responsibly
had more than 1,000 students sign pledge cards not to drink the
fourth-year fifth, said Sarah Hobeika, a member of the 2002 Class
of Trustees who helped organize the effort. The group passed out
about 950 orange Project FAR cups with free Pepsi soft drinks
by the beginning of the football games third quarter, she
said. FAR also held a raffle, awarding prizes at the Lawn lighting
ceremony Dec. 5, supported with a $1,500 gift from Anheuser-Busch.
have shown a decline in the number of students whove participated
in the fourth-year fifth drinking binge over the past few years,
according to Susan Bruce, director of the Center for Alcohol and
data does not come from the same survey, but the longitudinal
study from 1999 indicated that 16 percent of fourth-years attempted
or completed the fourth-year fifth, compared to 13.2 percent
in the Health Behavior Survey from 2001.