February 24, 2014

An Open Letter to UAlberta students from Dean Robinson & Petros Kusmu, Students' Union President

Dear Students,

I’m sure that many of you have heard about the NEKnomination phenomenon that has come to campuses across North America. An event that first started as a harmless challenge between friends has now seen numerous instances of extreme drinking resulting in several tragic incidents. It is truly concerning that people are getting hurt or killed trying to one-up their friends. When you combine excessive drinking and extreme stunts, and then dare others to do something even more dangerous, the results can be truly terrible.

We are reaching out because each of you matter to us. We want you to have fun and drink responsibly if you choose to drink. We don’t want you to become one of these devastating statistics.

Many people are coming up with very different, positive responses to this phenomena. For instance, there are some great examples of friends challenging each other to Random Acts of Kindness, which seems like a far better alternative to us. We hope you agree, too.

On behalf of the Students’ Union and the U of A, we encourage you to make smart and safe decisions. Please be careful, keep your friends safe, and if you do drink, please drink responsibly. Empower yourself through the Check Yourself tool, an anonymous online questionnaire that will provide you with information about yourself and drinking. As always, if you ever need to talk to someone, University Wellness Services, and the Peer Support Centre are good places to start. 


Petros Kusmu, Students’ Union President

Frank Robinson, Vice Provost & Dean of Students