Princeton University's new measure aims to prevent meningitis

September 20, 2013 3:42:08 PM PDT
"Mine, not yours" - that's the message in big bold letters on 5,000 red plastic cups being distributed at Princeton University.

After an outbreak of bacterial meningitis on campus last year, health educator Kathy Wagner says the school is reminding students the disease is spread through sharing anything that comes in contact with the mouth: drinks, water bottles, lipstick and more.

"What we are trying to do with these cups is just get the message out there that you should use your own, not someone else's. Don't let someone else use yours and keep your germs to yourself," said Wagner.

How do students feel about the move?

"I'm not sure how effective it'll be in a party situation, if people will even pay attention to the cups to be honest but we've heard a lot about it so we are definitely aware," said Jacqueline Gufford.

"Maybe at a party, meningitis is probably not what I'm thinking about," said Annie Kartheiser.

Alcohol intake maybe on the mind of many. That's why all the cups also have lines to indicate the standard size drink for beer, wine and hard liquor.

Resident college advisor Jake Correia thinks that's a good idea to help promote safe drinking and avoid the binge drinking that can sometimes become life-threatening to students.

"They actually know what they are drinking, how much they are drinking which is hard especially at parties here on campus where students are often the bartenders themselves," said Correia.

"Like how are you going to be able to tell the difference between one person's 'Mine, not yours' cup and your 'Mine, not yours cup?'" said Eliza Mott.

University officials say it's as simple as putting your name on the cup with a magic marker.

The "Mine, not yours" cups are available at various locations around campus and also feature the phone number for Princeton University Police.

The good news is that the five students who were stricken with meningitis last year have all recovered.

Now the university hopes this new measure will prevent another outbreak in the future.

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