The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will host an all-day conference on campus Friday to spread awareness of alcohol and drug abuse, as part of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week.

The conference is part of Virginia ABC’s College Tour, for which ABC plans to hold similar alcohol and drug-related awareness conferences on several colleges across the Commonwealth. Other conference locations include James Madison University, Virginia Tech University, The College of William and Mary and George Mason University. The conference will be held Friday, Nov. 7.

“College Tour is about service and action, about being an active participant,” said Katie Weaks, Virginia ABC education and prevention coordinator. “Participants will be alerted to dangerous drinking trends and learn strategies to prevent harm. The networking at this conference also allows students and professionals to gather ideas about strengthening prevention efforts, promoting leadership and encouraging healthy lifestyles at their schools.”

While the Virginia ABC College Tour series events will be similar in nature, with the goal of spreading alcohol and drug awareness to students and members of the campus communities, each event will specifically be tailored to the individual campuses at which the conferences are taking place.

Daniel Fabian, associate dean of Richmond College and deputy Title IX coordinator, will open the conference on campus, and Ryan Travia, Harvard University director of health promotion and director of the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services, will provide the keynote address.

Speakers from the University of Virginia, Bridgewater College, Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services/Too Smart 2 Start Coalition and the Virginia Department of Health will also speak at the event.

Jennifer Farinholt, a Westhampton College alumna who now works for Virginia ABC, worked specifically on planning the University of Richmond ABC-sponsored event.

“Having recruited the speakers and worked with the facilitators, I know it will be a fun and meaningful experience for all who attend,” Farinholt said.

The campus event is open to both students and professionals, however the agendas vary based for the two groups of attendees. From 8 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., all guests will be present for Fabian and Travia’s speeches. Students and professionals will then split off to attend talks on diversified topics such as “Capacity Building for Alcohol and Sexual Violence Prevention” (for professionals) and “Peer Education: Empowering Student Leaders to Promote Health and Safety” (for students).

Additionally, professionals attending the campus conference will have the opportunity to observe a panel discussion on alcohol and drug-related issues on campuses.

Student organizations from Richmond who attend the conference are invited to create a plan to help spread the awareness messages of Virginia ABC to the rest of the campus community. Those who choose to do so are eligible to receive up to $500 in funds from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The event will take place in the Jepson Alumni Center and is open to students for free who preregistered for the event, as well as professionals and Richmond community members for $20.

Contact reporter Katie Thomson at katie.thomson@richmond.edu