Convicted DUI offender to speak against drunk driving

A night of drinking and partying for a few Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brothers becomes a lesson for others at an upcoming lecture from Mark Sterner, former Rhode Island student.

The last night of a spring break in Florida with his fraternity brothers included drinking and driving and resulted in the death of three people, a manslaughter conviction and a 23-month prison sentence for Sterner.

“While in prison, he (Sterner) began doing speaking engagements nationwide to get the message out to other people,” said Michael Crump, University Lecture Series chairman.

DUI: A Powerful Lesson is the title of the lecture, and it describes the events and even features video footage from that fateful night. Sterner wants students to understand how their decisions can make a big impact on their life and the lives of others.

Students from Greek Life and The Substance Abuse Education & Awareness Team (SEAT) proposed that Sterner speak. In their proposal to ULS they stated, “He is a very dynamic speaker who has a great message to bring to USF students.”

SEAT encourages students to attend this presentation. SEAT has teamed up with ULS to present this lecture in conjunction with National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness (NCAA) week.

“I haven’t heard him speak, but other members of SEAT have been to conferences where he has spoken and thought he was great,” said Hope Johnson, SEAT chairperson. She also added, “What’s good is that he doesn’t preach or shake his finger at you.”

This goes along with the team’s motto “Get the facts, make your own choice.”

SEAT hopes that students will listen to Sterner’s message and make wise decisions about drinking.

To help students get the facts about alcohol, SEAT has events planned the entire week of Oct. 25. They include the Alcohol Olympics, ‘Can You Walk The Line?’ Twister on the Beach and a stand at Bulls-I with information and goodies for students.

They also want to inform students that drinking is not the way to be cool. In fact, 85% of USF students drink alcohol only once a week or less, they said.

The lecture takes place in the Special Events Center at 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.