Around Campus: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

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On the Trail with Outdoor Pursuits

Outdoor Pursuits, a unique UNC program for students that offers adventure trips, outdoor education workshops and free outdoor gear rentals, shares a slide show of photos from some of last year's trips.

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‘Truth Fairy’ Campaign Launches at UNC to Educate on Impacts of Alcohol and Impaired Driving

A three-year social norming campaign at UNC launched Sept. 28 during the homecoming celebration. The "Truth Fairy" campaign is intended to correct misperceptions about alcohol abuse and impaired driving among college students.

The campaign's mascot, Ruth the Truth Fairy, will communicate educational information to students and other members of the campus community in an engaging and interactive format. Information will be disseminated through various outlets, including the campaign's website (www.TruthFairyUNC.com), campus-wide posters featuring Ruth, online Internet banners, campus ads, social media and campus outreach events.

UNC was selected last year to participate in the statewide college-focused initiative, spearheaded by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (COBH) and the Colorado Persistent Drunk Driver (PDD) Committee, to educate college students about the impacts of high risk drinking and DUIs before they experience unintended consequences associated with alcohol consumption. The campaign will be overseen by UNC's Prevention Education and Advocacy Services.

"Social norming campaigns at college campuses across the country have proven to make positive changes with student populations and we plan to do the same at UNC," said Christine Flavia with the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. "Avoiding DUI is simply a matter of planning ahead and making good decisions. Our plan is to give students the information and tools they need to make smart choices."

The social norming approach, which guides the Truth Fairy campaign, aims to correct misperceptions by highlighting positive choices students make concerning alcohol and drug use. According to the National College Health Assessment, students believe that the majority of their peers are heavy and frequent drinkers. Data shows this is inaccurate and that the majority of students use alcohol responsibly and do not binge drink. Using research-based messaging obtained through surveys conducted on the UNC campus, the Truth Fairy campaign will correct these common misconceptions, ultimately reducing high risk drinking behaviors and impaired driving.

The campaign program will be closely monitored to ensure effectiveness on campus. Campaign results will be provided towards the end of each spring semester. Funds for the campaign are being provided entirely through COBH from the PDD cash fund, generated from surcharges assessed on convicted impaired driving offenders. For additional information about the campaign, contact Prevention Education and Advocacy Services, Prevention Coordinator, Brittany Bohl at 970-351-1136.

About UNC's Prevention Education and Advocacy Services Office
Prevention Education and Advocacy Services is under the umbrella of the UNC Counseling Center and oversees the Center for Peer Education (CPE). CPE is dedicated to educating student peers about alcohol and other drugs, tobacco, mental health, sexual health and overall wellness issues impacting college students and collaborates with campus and community organizations to provide educational programs. Examples include:

  • New Student Orientation: More than 2,500 incoming students participate in an Interactive Theatre session during New Student Orientation each summer. This session educates students about alcohol and high-risk drinking, sex and consent, safer sex practices and STDs/STIs, prescription drug abuse and campus resources. UNC Counseling Center, Prevention Education and Advocacy Services, the Dean of Students Office and the UNC Police Department integrate educational information throughout the theater and provide answers to student questions. Counselors with the UNC Counseling Center are on hand to provide student support as needed. The Interactive Theatre has been identified as a model for prevention education from other institutions across the nation.
  • Late-Night, Alcohol-Free and Drug-Free Events: Wednesday night has been identified as a traditionally high risk drinking night for UNC students. CPE offers BINGO Night as a late-night alternative to drinking that is interactive, fun and educational (average attendance of 300 students).
  • Party with a Plan: Since 2007, UNC has effectively promoted a 0-1-2-3 plan to communicate responsible drinking guidelines. Each number corresponds with a strategy for responsible drinking, including 0 — Choose not to drink for a variety of reasons; 1— No more than 1 drink an hour; 2 — no more than 2 times per week; 3—No more than 3 drinks in one day.
  • Drink Coasters: CPE distributes many resources that promote responsible drinking. This free resource can be used to test alcoholic drinks for some drugs used for sexual assault.

About the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health
The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) is dedicated to strengthening the health, resiliency, and recovery of Coloradans through quality and effective behavioral health prevention, intervention and treatment.

About the Persistent Drunk Driving Committee
The Persistent Drunk Driving Committee was formed following enactment of the Persistent Drunk Driver Act of 1998. The Department of Human Services, along with State Judicial and the Departments of Transportation and Revenue, are charged with developing and implementing programs that are intended to deter persistent drunk driving and are also intended to educate the public, with particular emphasis on the education of young drivers, regarding the dangers of persistent drunk driving.

Information on Government Shutdown

At this stage, the federal government shutdown is having minimal impact on UNC's operations. Financial aid processing, federal grant reporting and funding, and student admissions that involve immigration checks (such as prospective international students) are continuing with no significant delays expected. The Center for International Education Passport Office continues to accept U.S. Passport applications, which are being processed by the State Department as normal. The university has received management guidelines from federal agencies for dealing with the shutdown and will remain in contact with them.

Weld Project Connect Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for the Weld Project Connect, a community event on Oct. 18 that provides on-site, one-on-one services for local individuals and families who are struggling with foreclosure, job loss, underemployment, health, wellness and other issues. If you're interested in volunteering or want more information on the event, please plan on attending one of the following training sessions.

  • Monday, Oct. 14, 3-4 p.m., University Center, Columbine B
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2-3 p.m., University Center, Columbine B

You also can find more information and register to volunteer on the Weld Connect website.

Commencement Student Speaker Applications Due Oct. 4

All graduating seniors have some unforgettable moments and stories from college to tell, and if you'd like to tell yours during Fall Commencement, you have until Friday, Oct. 4, to apply. Requirements include having a 2.8+ GPA, graduating in December and involvement with UNC campus life. More information and application forms are on the Dean of Students' website.

Annual UNC Security and Fire Safety Report Now Available

A copy of the University of Northern Colorado's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is now available on the University Police website. The report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by UNC, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to, and accessible from, the campus. The report also contains institutional policies concerning campus security including policies concerning sexual assault and other matters.

You can obtain a copy of the report beginning Oct. 1 by contacting the UNC Police Department via email or at 351-2245, or by accessing the Campus Security Report website.

Add a Page to UNC's Social Media Portal

UNC now has a social media portal at www.unco.edu/social/ containing links to approved social media pages for UNC programs, departments, offices and other entities. If you have an active Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or other social media page you would like listed on the portal, visit Web Communications' website to find out how to get it added.

The site contains the required approval form to create social media pages, guidelines and best practices for creating them, and a training video.

Students, alumni and employees are encouraged to contribute posts to UNC's Facebook page.

Take Back The Night Rally Oct. 3 to Feature Award-Winning Poet

Help break the silence and stop the violence at Take Back the Night, a march and rally against violence and sexual assault starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Garden Theatre. Listen to inspiring true-life experiences and award-winning slam poetry from Carlos Andres Gomez. A candlelight and picket-sign march around campus will follow.

Gomez, star of HBO's Def Poetry and Spike Lee's acclaimed movie, Inside Man, has performed at over 200 colleges and universities since 2006. In the past year, he wowed students at the Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC., was a headline performer at Central Park SummerStage, and most recently, showcased his talent in MTV's first-ever poetry slam alongside hip hop luminary Talib Kweli.

A former social worker and public school teacher, Gomez first made a name for himself by winning at the Apollo Theater's infamous Amateur Night and later as a member of the renowned Nuyorican Poets Cafe's slam team. In 2008, he collaborated with Tony Award-winning tap dance legend Savion Glover on Broadway.