The Sober Paradox: Exploring the Role of Alcohol in our Culture, our Campuses, and our Lives

By April 9, 2021May 27th, 2021No Comments
Date: May 12, 2021 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Hosted by: Healthy Campus Alberta

The aim of this presentation is to critically question and dialogue around the role alcohol plays in our society, our campuses, and our everyday lives.

Part 1: Dr. Victoria F. Burns (Assistant Professor, UCalgary) will introduce the concepts of alcohol culture and the sober paradox. Drawing on her own lived experience in long-term recovery, she will explore the unique tensions, opportunities, and paradoxes of disclosing a non-drinking identity in an academic context. Her presentation will conclude with recommendations to reduce alcohol harms, combat stigma, and promote inclusion for students, staff, and faculty who are struggling with alcohol use.

Part 2: Lexi Knight (BSW student, UCalgary) will share her experience as a student in early recovery. She will discuss how campus alcohol culture affected her relationship with alcohol and how the normalization of harmful drinking reinforced her denial and ultimately prevented her from seeking help.

Part 3: Z’Anne Harvey-Jansen (AHS) will introduce participants to her work with AHS on preventing alcohol harms on campus and in the community. She will discuss shifting trends in alcohol use, and the importance of considering the role of culture and industry in promoting health in wellness with regards to alcohol use.

Opportunities for sharing and discussion will be woven throughout the presentation.


  • Dr. Victoria Burns, PhD, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary
  • Z’Anne Harvey-Jansen, MSc, Health Promotion Facilitator, Alberta Health Services
  • Lexi Knight, BSW Student, University of Calgary
Register here