DuBOIS, Pa. — When students are approaching the end of the semester, that often means that stress levels rise. With end of projects, research papers and final exams all on the horizon, students will naturally experience some levels of stress as they prepare to close out the semester. How individuals deal with stress is unique to each person. Recently, Penn State DuBois’ Student Government association (SGA), the Office of Student Engagement, Counseling Services, and the Clearfied-Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission (CJDAC) organized two events that gave students a place to have some fun while learning about alternative ways to destress that don’t involve drugs and alcohol.
On April 18, students had the opportunity to come to the student union for game night. Happening each semester, game night gives students a place to hang out, play games together, partake in some free food and relax. Students also learned about ways they can destress without the use of drugs or alcohol.
CJDAC and our campus nurse are both here offering valuable information for students, while they get the chance to be part of some fun games and tournaments.
—Colleen Lanzoni , campus counselor, Penn State DuBois
“This is an alcohol alternative event to help students engage in stress relief that doesn’t involve substances,” Colleen Lanzoni, campus counselor said. “CJDAC and our campus nurse are both here offering valuable information for students, while they get the chance to be part of some fun games and tournaments. We are really excited to offer this opportunity for our students.”
Games such as cornhole, pool and pingpong were all played during the game night festivities. Prizes for those in attendance, free food, and both iced and hot lattes also highlighted the evening.
“This event shows community involvement in several ways,” said Jessica Clontz, assistant teaching professor and program coordinator of human development and family studies. “With both the commission (CJDAC) here, and with several of our prizes coming from those in the community, it really shows just how much our community wants to work to make the community safer and to show our students some harm-reduction methods regarding drugs and alcohol.”
Game night is one of the alternative events that CJDAC works with to help bring awareness to problems it has identified as “growing” in certain areas. Often when substance abuse is mentioned, drugs and alcohol come to mind first. But CJDAC also is highlighting vaping and the effect it is having on young adults, such as college students.
Another event took place on April 20, titled “Weed It Out.” This event was organized by Counseling Services, along with the assistance of Health Services, certified peer educators and the CJDAC. The event’s goal was to help students learn about the dangers of fentanyl. Each year, the campus facilitates an educational event on “4/20” because of the date’s historical references to marijuana use. With it being such a hot topic on both the legal and political fronts, Lanzoni organized the event to help students understand the dangers of drug use and the trend toward more substances being laced with fentanyl. Students began by watching footage of an actual fentanyl overdose. They then participated in several experiences that made this event much more interactive. Health Services demonstrated how easy it is for fentanyl to be undetected as students had to guess which bowls of smarties or oregano, used to simulate marijuana, were covered in an ultraviolet powder only evidenced after shining a flashlight on them. While games and a virtual reality experience were engaging students, peer educators randomly dropped red food coloring in water cups, simulating how easy it is for dosing to occur. All these activities served to increase awareness and encourage students to abstain from substance use.
To learn more about the Clearfied-Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission, its community involvement and goals, visit cjdac.org.
Penn State DuBois understands that college students often encounter a great deal of stress from a variety of factors, including academics, social environments, family related issues, work, financial issues and other such factors. While most students cope successfully with life's demands, sometimes these pressures become overwhelming and unmanageable. Students might feel alone, isolated, helpless and even hopeless. These feelings can easily disrupt academic performance and can result in harmful behaviors, including substance abuse, self-harm and suicide attempts. Penn State DuBois has a counseling center fully available to all students who are in need. If a student is having trouble dealing with any issues or stressors, they are urged to make an appointment to talk with the campus counselor. Remember, we are here to help you and you matter to us.