|Peer educators increase alcohol awareness
Adapted from an article written by Allis McLaughlin, Director of Health Services, for The Cento, the Centre College student newspaper.
RELEASED: March 24, 2005
DANVILLE, KYThe SMART peer education program (Students Monitoring Alcohol Responsibly Together) began two years ago and now boasts a membership of 22 Centre College students and educators.
The students are currently working to promote responsible drinking choices on campus.
SMART Peer educators receive 15 hours of training and function in a variety of ways. Some teach fun and interactive residence hall programs to freshmen, fraternities and sororities, or area schools. Others provide passive programming by creating table tents in the campus dining hall, writing stories for the campus newspaper or developing "stall stories", informative accounts posted in campus bathroom stalls. Additional projects include participation in Alcohol Awareness Week in October and Safe Spring Break in March.
To become a SMART peer, candidates must be willing to commit to seven hours a month and to model the behaviors they are required to teachno use of illicit drugs, and low-risk use of alcohol, which translates into fewer than three drinks per occasion, spaced one hour apart.
"A number of students like to unwind from the demanding workload college presents with the help of alcohol or drugs. We could all easily identify people in our community who have problems due to their usage, such as practicing unsafe sex, vandalism, drunk driving or being too hung over to study or do well on a test," says Centre alumna Krista Nelson. "When the fun of 40-ounce challenges, beer pong tournaments, and split-a-fifth nights give way to blackouts
or trips to the hospital, we see the consequences of poor choices being made about drinking."
"One of the greatest things this group has accomplished is to start changing the perceptions of what norms are for Centre students," says Meg Fenton, a senior from Louisville.
"It's a lot of fun, and a chance to make a difference," adds Chris Patton, a sophomore from Nesbit, Miss.
Interested students can request an application from Parsons Wellness Center and return it by Monday, April 4. Interviews will be held the week of April 11.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714