As the Attorney General of Alabama, I have an opportunity to work with amazing individuals and organizations on issues that impact the great people of Alabama. April is Alcohol Awareness Month and I recently had the occasion to visit the University of Alabama and the LessThanUThink (LTUT) program as they partnered with superstar Shaquille O'Neal who was in our great state to direct a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to help in their fight against college binge drinking.
I’ve met many people during my time as Attorney General, but it’s not often that there is someone in a room who is taller than me. The commanding presence that Shaq had on the basketball court has carried over to the director’s chair and I think this unique PSA will catch the interest of students. And in between adjusting the lighting and camera timing, Shaq reminded everyone that while the issue is serious they should remember to learn from every experience and have fun. Wisdom that carries beyond the sound stage.
The time that Shaq spent working with the students on the PSA was amazing. I know he has a number of commitments and appreciate the amount of effort he is putting forward on this important issue. Research shows that risky binge drinking is trending downward, but we can’t give up on looking for programs to stop this health risk. I am so proud of the amazing work that our UA students have done on their campus; Shaq’s involvement will help to garner the attention they earned and deserve at the national level. The LTUT campaign is innovative, student driven and University supported. A combination that can’t be beat. And with outside support from The Century Council, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association and the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board, the LTUT campaign will continue to be a shining example of the work positive partnerships can bring about.
I was pleased to talk with a few of the LTUT team members during my visit and took an opportunity to thank them for their commitment to their fellow ‘Bama students. The LTUT team wants to make sure that binge drinking doesn’t happen on their campus. And because of the great work they’ve been doing in Tuscaloosa, this spring break, the LTUT campaign spread to 5 other campuses in Alabama.
As a father with a son in college, I’m thankful for the work that Shaq, The Century Council, LTUT and others are doing on this important issue. I hope other parents take opportunity during Alcohol Awareness Month to talk with their children, no matter the age. Starting the conversation is a difficult step, but it can be very rewarding.
Luther Strange was elected Alabama’s 49th Attorney General on November 2, 2010. As Attorney General, he is charged with representing and defending the interests of the people of the State of Alabama and serves as the State’s chief law enforcement officer. www.ago.state.al.us