About 50 students and faculty at the Northlands College campus in La Ronge are taking part in a challenge that requires them to stop consuming alcohol for most of March.

Northlands College Student Services Coordinator, Brandi Bell, says the challenge has been met with unprecedented support.

“I thought that if one or two students participated that it would be a win,” said Bell. “Community members are really saying that this is something that’s cool.”

Bell says that the challenge was inspired by similar events that have taken place at other post-secondary institutions in the province and is meant to start a discussion within the school.

“We’ve been working with the U of S and the U of R and different organizations about how they work with harm reduction, and this was one of our pilot projects to say, let’s get students talking about drinking,” said Bell. “People have been really honest and kind of raw and brave.”

At the end of the challenge, organizers are hoping to gather feedback that can then be utilized by the school.

“At the very end, I’d like to poll our students and see how they felt,” said Bell. “I know that so far, what I’ve really seen is we’ve developed this kind of social network for people to see who else is trying to stay sober, and sometimes it’s just about finding a new friend or finding something else to do.”

The challenge began on March 5 and will conclude March 29.

Anyone wishing to take part in the challenge is being encouraged to reach out to the college’s student services.

(PHOTO: Northlands College logo. Photo courtesy of Northlands College.)