Fordham University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Program celebrated a milestone this past year when it published the 10th edition of Passport: Off Campus Guide to New York City, a handbook of restaurants, entertainment, attractions and recreation in the Big Apple.
The booklet is edited by Fordham Peer Educators, who serve to educate students on finding alcohol-free social activities while teaching them about the dangers of high-risk drinking.
Passport was honored this past year by the Bacchus Peer Education Network, the national organization for student peer-educator groups. It also received the honor in 1999, the booklet’s inaugural year.
“Although it offers tips on how to have fun in New York without drinking, it’s much better than it sounds,” said Edward Wahesh (FCRH ’01), director of Fordham’s Alcohol and Other Drug Education Program. “It is put together by peer educators, who are recruited, trained and advised at my office. Once the booklet is printed, peer educators distribute it to all incoming first-year students during the month of September.”
Those who commute to Fordham receive Passport at orientation. Residents receive it during their floor meeting on alcohol and other drugs.
The booklet is edited annually by a peer educator or student worker from the Alcohol and Other Drug Education office, said Wahesh, who served as editor of the first Passport.
“He or she edits entries submitted by students,” he said, “Each year, we have dozens of students from Rose Hill and Lincoln Center submit entries. What makes the booklet unique and more relevant to students than general New York travel guides is that each entry is rated based on price, or whether it’s a good place for groups, romance, uniqueness, and how relaxing it is — all factors Fordham students gave as reasons for drinking.”
Wahesh said the booklet and his office have received much praise over the years from students, especially those from outside the tri-state area.
“I’ve heard from many young alumni who have requested updated editions of Passport, and have even heard from some alumni who still have their original copy,” he said. “It’s been great to see how Passport has developed over the years, yet has still kept its core focus—to provide students with alternatives to the bar scene.”
Passport’s current editor, rising Fordham College at Rose Hill junior Kristie Beaudoin, hails from Arizona. A peer educator, Beaudoin calls the booklet a great resource for Fordham students whether they are interested in art, music, sports, dancing, thrift stores or comedy.
“A lot of research has been done on why Fordham students choose to drink, and one answer that consistently crops up is because there is nothing else to do,” she said. “This booklet solves that problem.
“With a resource like Passport at our fingertips, we students at Fordham have no excuse for being bored,” she said. “It even includes discounted and free things to do in New York for those of us who are running low on cash. Getting a hold of one and using it consistently will definitely help students make the most of their four years at Fordham.”