Gainesville High School students got a lunchtime lecture from UF fraternity brothers Wednesday afternoon.
Members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity spent the high school’s two 30-minute lunch periods hosting an informational table session in the cafeteria to educate the students about alcohol and drug safety.
“A lot of students here are going to be students coming to UF, so we figured what better place to talk about underage drinking with underage students?” said Christopher Kessling, a 22-year-old UF psychology senior who joined ATO as a sophomore.
Lina Aubrey, the high school’s activities director, said this was the perfect venue for the fraternity members to present their information sessions.
“We can’t make the kids’ decisions for them,” Aubrey said, “but we can inform them and help them.”
Though only members of ATO were present, Kessling said that the fraternity hoped to make this an annual tradition, one where multiple fraternities and sororities participate.
“We’re here representing just Greek life as a whole, we just want to give back,“ Kessling said.
The fraternity displayed a PowerPoint, poster and various handouts about the consequences of underage drinking and Florida laws that deal with it.
Kessling said Greek life’s history of drinking did not diminish the value of their presentation.
“Yes, there’s people that drink, but a lot of guys are of-age and do make responsible decisions,” Kessling said. “People tend to focus on that one side of Greek life ... but we do a lot of service, and a lot of great things happen, too.”
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 3/20/2014 under the headline "ATO brothers warn high school students of drinking dangers"]