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Steve Hinnefeld
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Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

‘Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll’ aims to promote positive health choices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 24, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Many first-year students will arrive at Indiana University Bloomington this week ready to party but without experience in setting limits. To help ensure they don't get in over their heads, IU student-services offices are offering a taste of "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll."

The Welcome Week activity, in its third year and growing in popularity, takes a fun, interactive approach to providing information about the risks of sexual behavior and alcohol use for newly independent students. It also aims to familiarize students with campus resources that can help steer them clear of trouble.

Fatal Vision goggles

A student tries out goggles that mimic the impairment caused by drinking alcohol during the 2009 "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll" event.

Print-Quality Photo

The event, from noon to 3 p.m. Friday (Aug. 27) at Showalter Fountain, is sponsored by the Dean of Students office, the IU Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services and the Sexual Assault Crisis Service. It will include live music, free T-shirts, gifts and treats, and information booths staffed by 20 organizations. Members of the IU Police Department will give students a chance to see how well they can maneuver golf carts when hampered by Fatal Vision goggles, which mimic the impairment caused by drinking alcohol.

Debbie Melloan and Ann Skirvin of the IU Sexual Assault Crisis Service said "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll" is a unique event that brings together staff, faculty and students organizations -- along with community representatives, such as the office of Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Gaal -- to address important campus concerns.

"The message for incoming students is, we want you to make good decisions around sexual behavior and alcohol use," Melloan said. "There are a lot of ways to have fun without putting yourself at risk. And there are resources on campus to support you in making good decisions and provide help when you're faced with problems."

Incoming students typically watch a "Welcome to College" musical presentation during summer orientation that addresses issues about drinking and sexual behavior, and they complete an Alcohol.edu online alcohol-education program. But the messages can sometimes get lost when thousands of young people are thrown together for the first time, away from parents.

"We think it takes hearing the information at least three different times, and in a variety of settings, to actually learn the messages," Skirvin said. "This is an important time for setting norms, and we want all the students to have the best first year possible."

Chris Meno of IU's Counseling and Psychological Services said students' drinking is influenced by what they think about how much other students are drinking.

"However, students tend to overestimate how much other college students drink," she said. "One goal of 'Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll' is to educate students, especially freshmen who are new to college partying, about what is typical and acceptable at IU."

"Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll" is part of a full slate of Welcome Week activities organized by the Office of First-Year Experiences and designed to acclimate new students to campus life. More information is available at http://www.indiana.edu/~fye/welcomeweek/.

Other participating IU organizations include the Alcohol and Drug Information Center, Center for Human Growth, Health and Wellness Education, Interfraternity Council, IU Student Association, Office of Student Ethics and Anti-Harassment, Office for Women's Affairs, Panhellenic Association, Raising Awareness of Interactions in Sexual Encounters (RAISE), Residence Halls Association, Safe Sisters, Student Activities Office and Student Legal Services.