In preparation for the football game against Penn State this Saturday night, seven student leaders sampled sandwiches and non-alcoholic drinks from local restaurants on the Diag to find the tastiest “Stay in the Blue” meal as part of Wolverine Wellness’s True Blue Sandwich and Drink Contest.
The Stay in the Blue initiative encourages students to act responsibly when participating in social activities, including those involving alcohol. In order to “stay in the blue,” a student must have a blood-alcohol content of .06 or less as a chart tracks their levels, with blue representing the safe zone and red indicating dangerous levels of alcohol consumption.
Wolverine Wellness collaborated with popular restaurants including Conor O’Neill’s, Pizza House, Sava’s, Scorekeepers Bar and Grill and the University’s Beanster’s Café to host the contest. The restaurants were asked to submit an affordable sandwich as well as a non-alcoholic or caffeinated drink to advertise as a Stay in the Blue special at their establishments on football Saturdays.
The sandwiches and drinks were judged on taste, creativity and price. Many of the items utilized blue cheese or blueberries to stick with the “blue” theme. Conor O’Neill’s buffalo burger and Sava’s Maize & Blue BLT tied for best overall sandwich, and Pizza House’s Stay in the Blue shake won best overall drink.
“Part of staying in the blue is to be able to eat and to have non-alcoholic drinks available,” said Joy Pehlke, Wolverine Wellness health and wellness educator. “Sometimes on Saturdays or weekends you can go around and see a lot of alcohol specials out there. We want to make sure there’s also specials that highlight eating and drinking in a way for folks that don’t drink or want to moderate.”
The judges included Interfraternity Council President Tommy Wydra, Panhellenic Association President Sarah Blegen, Michigan Daily Editor in Chief Peter Shahin, Central Student Government President Bobby Dishell, Monica Korzon, Club Sports Council vice president and women’s hockey team forward, Club Sports Council Secretary Lindsey Miller and LSA senior Josh Thurman, who volunteered as a random judge and whose name card read “Awesome Student.”
“I really like how it’s a creative twist on Stay in the Blue,” Wydra said. “I think it’s a good measure to alert our students to the proactive measures that are taking place specifically for the night game.”
As the judges chowed down their sandwiches, volunteers from LSA Student Government and PULSE asked students crossing the Diag trivia questions about how to be safe on game days and to stay in the blue. After answering, students were given free glow-in-the-dark T-shirts to wear Saturday night.
Pehlke said the campaign reaches out to all students — those who are drinking and those who aren’t — to ensure friends are staying safe.
“Stay in the Blue is for everyone, whether you drink or not,” said University Health Services health educator Christina Gerazounis. “If you’re not drinking or if you don’t drink, you’re always in the blue.”
Michigan Daily Editor in Chief Peter Shahin attended this event and did not edit this article.