ACES brings awareness to spring break safety

GVL / Courtesy ACES

GVL / Courtesy ACES

Natalie Lussier

One of Grand Valley State University’s highest priorities is student safety, which is why ACES – Alcohol Campus Education Services – strives to ensure students make healthy life-long decisions regarding alcohol and drugs.

ACES is a campus program that offers resources for students who are either struggling with addiction or substance abuse, or know someone who is. Two of its on-campus resources include counseling services and 12-step meetings for students who are in recovery or looking to address their use of alcohol and drugs.

The organization doesn’t strictly adhere to an abstinence-only policy, but rather helps students understand that there are safe and responsible alternatives when it comes to alcohol consumption. 

Among the information provided on the ACES website is an explanation of what “one drink” looks like for a glass of wine, malt liquor, beer or spirit. The site also explains that one should wait an hour between drinks and women should not consume more than two to three drinks in one sitting, and men no more than two to four.

“We understand students here are adults,” said Kayli Skorupka, a graduate assistant for ACES. “They’re old enough to make their own choices, but they’re also old enough to understand there’s some consequences to their choices.”

Another focus of ACES is the legality aspect of choosing to drink alcohol. The organization recognizes that college students are aware of the legal drinking age, and that it’s their decision if they choose to illegally consume alcohol. However, ACES aims to bring awareness of the repercussions such a decision may have.

“If you’re going to go out and have a drink, we want you to have all the information,” said Eric Klingensmith, coordinator of the ACES office. “You know what’s healthy, you know what’s safe and responsible, but you also know legal choices and later consequences.”

With spring break right around the corner, ACES offers a few helpful reminders, especially to those traveling to foreign locations. These tips include the importance of keeping an eye on your drink, keeping track of the number of drinks consumed and being aware of the strength of a drink.

“It’s okay to ask the bartender, ‘Hey, how much did you pour in here,'” Skorupka said.

One additional tip ACES gives is to consume food and drink water before, during and after consuming alcohol to help slow down the absorption rate.

The Women’s Center would also like to remind students that alcohol is never the cause of or excuse for sexual assault. If you or someone you know experiences sexual assault, you are urged to contact the Women’s Center for advocacy and support.

For more information and tips from ACES, visit its website at contact the Women’s Center, visit

[email protected]