West Virginia Universitys Department of Community Medicine is planning an open night of free food, recreation, live music and prizes for area high school students. The event, calledCheck the Recwill be held from 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Student Recreation Center.

The event is both educational and recreational, according to organizer Ruth Kershner, associate professor of community medicine, who wants students to have fun while also learning about the dangers of alcohol.

Two contests are being offered as part of the event. The first asks students to write a list of theTop 10 Reasons Alcohol Can Hurt Me.The winner of the contest will get an iPod MP3 player as well as see his/her list printed on the event t-shirt. Prizes for runners-up include tickets to WVU sporting events and gift certificates from area businesses. Submissions are due Oct. 14.

The second contest is for musically inclined students to compete to play as the opening act for the live music portion of the evening. Interested students should send a demo tape, CD, or videotape to Dr. Kershner by Oct. 20.

Contest entries may be dropped off to room 3009 HSC North, or mailed to Ruth Kershner, WVU Community Medicine, P.O. Box 9190, HSC N , Morgantown, WV 26506 -9190.

Alcohol use and abuse among high school students remains a pertinent and serious issue in the health of our young people,Kershner said.

According to the results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), almost 45 percent of the high school respondents reported consuming one or more alcoholic drinks within the month before completing the survey. The chances for engaging risky behavior increase with alcohol use. Almost one third of students who completed the survey reported being a passenger in a vehicle in which the driver had consumed alcohol.

Students are reminded to wear or bring tennis shoes or sneakers with them in order to use the facility. Students should also bring swimwear and towels if they decide to use the pool.

Area high school teachers and administrators interested in more information about this event of healthy fun for their students can contact Dr. Kershner at 304-293-7440 or email.