Khiem Pham ’18 – Student Spotlight

Industrial Distribution | Sugarland, Texas LessThanUThink Team Leader & Class Councils

LessThanUThink (LTUT)

In 2009 student teams competing in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition wanted to create an campaign that combats the 5 students stand behind a bench with 3 students sitting, as they pose next to their sign which reads, Let's Taco bout Less than U thinknationwide issue of binge drinking on college campuses. The University of Alabama’s team discovered that the best way to reach college students about it is through humor—with a focus on the social and physical consequences.

Since then, LTUT has been run by advertising and public relations students at The University of Alabama. It’s been on 11-plus college campuses across the U.S. and two in Argentina. This is the first time we’ve tried it at Texas A&M University.

It’s a six-week campaign where we collaborate with the University of Alabama students through social media, local media outlets, and promotional events to spread awareness of the physical and social consequences of binge drinking.

At the end of the day, we want to say, “Hey, binge drinking can be dangerous, and some of the effects of it might not look well. Always be cautious about drinking when you’re going out and having fun, because you may do something you will regret in the future.”


Leading the Campaign

I’ve actually never seen myself as someone who can really lead an organization. I’ve always seen my role as someone who can support a leader but not necessarily be one. I was always the one behind the scenes doing all the work, but not the one up in front of a group.

That’s one reason I joined. I really need this experience, even though it’s something that makes me a little uncomfortable. It’s all about expanding my leadership, marketing, and communications skills while doing something positive for other students.

This is one way that I can leave my mark on Texas A&M. How I run this campaign for the first time will make a difference in how it plays out in the future.

Defined by Core Values

I respond most to integrity. In any environment, the people who are honest are the ones who do well, and I always want to try to embody that. Integrity is thinking about what you’re doing before you do it, and doing the right thing every time.

This LTUT campaign is about being honest. Binge drinking is a national problem that does need to be addressed. Most people want to hide it and don’t want to admit that they drink too much too fast.

It may help students stop to think about it, and to honestly admit that maybe they’ve had a problem in the past, and to confront it before it becomes a larger issue in their lives.

Class Councils

I’ve stuck with Class Council since my freshman year. It’s really expanded my horizons. In high school I really just stuck with one group of friends, but this is a diverse group of people. In the beginning I didn’t know anyone, and that’s what I wanted.

It was really about expanding my horizons. Marigold Hudock, my adviser for class councils, is the person who told me about this LTUT campaign, so one thing kind of lead to another.

Positive Passion

Well, for one thing: Some drinks have very high calories. Margaritas, pina coladas, Long Island iced tea —all these drinks have 700 calories or more. And since it’s liquid you don’t even realize it. Those facts definitely shocked me when I started learning more about this.

When you’re talking to college students about drinking, scare tactics don’t work. So we’re trying to focus on the effects of alcohol, but in a humorous way instead of making them feel guilty or ashamed.

Food & Family

Even though I have only one brother, I come from a really large, close-knit family. Me and my cousins cook Thanksgiving dinner for our parents, and we clean up the dishes, too. We cook about 25 different dishes. They hang out together nearly every week, and I try to get back to Houston as much as I can.

My parents are Vietnamese immigrants, but I was born in Houston. Both of them came to the United States in their teens. Their parents didn’t come till later. I speak enough Vietnamese to make minimal conversation, and I know the food really well. I have high standards for Vietnamese food. Nothing in College Station even comes close to our home-cooked meals.

I’ve tried all the Asian places in Bryan-College Station. The chicken udon at Ohana Korean Grill is great! They are opening a new Vietnamese sandwich shop here, and I’ll try it when it opens.

Story by Sondra White ’87       Photos by Athlyn Allen ’20
Marketing Director                    Marketing Intern
Division of Student Affairs       Division of Student Affairs