Corey Sanders '04 received the Princeton Drug and Alcohol Alliance's 2003 Eva Collins award Wednesday for his continued efforts to curb substance abuse across campus. PADA presented Sanders with the prize during its annual fall breakfast at Township Hall.
"I was truly honored to receive this award," Sanders said. "However, the initiatives and work I have done concerning this issue were not initiated for the sake of an award. Instead, I wanted to see less people being sent to the health center and the hospital each week and to hear less about people who hurt themselves or others in alcohol-related incidents."
Sanders said he first recognized the presence of the campus substance abuse problem after he was elected president of Quadrangle Club and became responsible for all members and guests of the club. He said he began to realize how close people came to seriously hurting themselves.
"These are our friends coming close to killing themselves and I was directly responsible for them," he said. "I decided I had to try and do something about it."
Sanders, who is also president of the Inter-Club Council, proposed a project to President Tilghman through which the University provided free soda and water to clubs so they could offer guests nonalcoholic alternative party nights. Sanders obtained Alcohol-Initiative funding for Quad's spring Lawnparties band, Lifehouse. He also assisted in planning this year's USG cosponsored George Clinton concert, for which he volunteered Quad's backyard.
In addition this fall, he organized an ICC "street fair" open to the community.
"It was an attempt to present a large-scale and street-wide event hosted by the clubs to impress upon the community what the clubs could organize," Sanders said. "I thank all those that the street fair and all the events enjoyed them greatly, even in the absence of alcohol."
Sanders said he has tried to fight the social pressures of the Street and the lack of concern by friends. He says that social drinking is not the problem. Instead, dangerous behaviors which eventually put people in McCosh need to be combated, he said.
"Once you reach a certain line, it isn't fun for you or anyone around you," he said. "Also, it seems so easy to avoid that line if you don't feel pressure to cross it or have someone keeping an eye on you that cares."
Sanders said that while he thinks some students believe in his effort, he knows others do not support his cause.
"I think there are a lot of students that really resent what I do and that upsets me a lot," he said. "I think they misunderstand my drive. I do not intend to remove alcohol entirely from the Street or kill everyone's fun.
"It is simply keeping consumption under control, at a healthy and responsible level. If everyone did that, if everyone kept an eye on their friend, no one would go to McCosh or the hospital," he said.
In addition to his responsibilities as ICC president, Sanders serves as an LGBT peer adviser and was an RA last year. He is currently working with the Princeton Environmental Network on a program titled, "Greening the Street."
"Corey's work shows that this problem can be overcome," said Gary DeBlasio, executive director of the counseling center Corner House, which is overseen by PADA.