The Area 11 Spring Conference will be held at Rutgers-Newark, Newark NJ.
You can also stay up on conference plans by connecting with Area 11 on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BACCHUSarea11
Future Area 11 Spring Conference Dates
California University of Pennsylvania
Just outside of Pittsburgh, PA
So, I would like to know what you think of it and what would like to see on it. Please send me any comments, thoughts, or input.
I also would like to know what your school is up to! If you e-mail me about any of the following, you might find yourself in the Area 11 Newsletter or on the webpage: (please be sure to include your name and school)
Play It Safe: It’s the Game of Life
Caitlin Lundberg & Ivan Marte - Peer Educators
New Jersey City University
Columbine. Virginia Tech. Two horrific school shootings that left 45 innocent people dead. These nightmares will soon be revisited by the release of the upcoming "School Shooter: North American Tour 2012", a modification that will be available to download for the popular game "Half Life 2." This "mod" has many people in an uproar.
The objective of the game is to kill as many students, teachers and faculty as possible within a certain time frame, emulating past "martyrs" such as Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold and Seung-Hui Cho. Weapons used include sawed-off shotguns and pistols. When the time elapses, the killer (which is you) has to commit suicide. The creator is known only as Pawnstick, his online alias and takes great lengths to be anonymous. When asked about how he would feel if his game inspired a real life school shooting, he responded:
"Individuals who go through with any sort of killing spree generally do so because they are inclined to resort to violence, or because they have been bottling up their frustrations for extended periods of time. The idea that our mod would be solely responsible for an otherwise sane individual becoming suddenly insane is ... Well, insane in its own right!"
There have been many studies on both sides of the argument. While there has not been conclusive evidence that provides a link between violent games and violent behavior, killers like Cho have listed video games as their inspiration. While the video games themselves are not to blame, the content promotes violent behavior.
Violent video games cannot be banned since they are covered by the First Amendment. However, there are steps we can take to prevent unsafe behaviors that are exemplified in these games. Our main weapon is education. As peer educators, we can conduct workshops and presentations on the causes and effects of unsafe behavior. We can distribute information on healthy ways to relieve stress and aggression. If necessary, we can refer individuals to counseling services located on school campuses.
Video games such as this one will unfortunately always be readily available to the masses, and while we can petition to stop these games from being released, the best preventative measure we can take is through knowledge and awareness. As peer educators, we need to be equipped with the information to make our campuses as safe as possible.
Ways You Can Make A Difference
J Mintzmyer, one of our Student Trustees, has researched ways for us to take a stand against this game and its potentially harmful effects. He advises that we:
"Send a formal letter to Valve Corporation (the owner of Half Life) and demand that they refuse to support this mod. This will keep it off of their Stream distribution system (similar to Android or iPhone marketplace, but for PC games), and restrict downloads to those who search for it on the internet."
Let's take a stand together!
Insight into Peer Education from 2011 Outstanding Student
Hellen Konyango - Outstanding Student 2011
College of New Rochelle
Wellness Coaches at the College of New Rochelle (CNR) are highly motivated students who are interested in learning how to educate and empower others to make positive lifestyle choices. All Wellness Coaches receive training on evidence-based approaches and participate in the BACCHUS training program for national certification as a peer health educator.
It was a challenge to start the Wellness Coach program and it taught me about program planning. I helped launch our "Healthy Monday on Campus" program that has been successful in raising awareness on campus. The Wellness Coaches also started an annual "Fitness for Life Day" held each fall as part of the American College of Sports Medicine national "Exercise is Medicine (EIM) on Campus" program. Last spring we also held a bike rally so that students who had never learned to ride a bike got a chance to try. We also have learned to advocate for wellness and health policy issues that impact our community. We attended a conference on "NYS Tobacco-Free Colleges" to learn about initiatives for healthier campus environments, and we conducted a survey on this topic at our campus.
It is by working with my fellow Wellness Coaches and our advisor that I have had the opportunity to serve as a role model and to lead by mentoring some of the new student Wellness Coaches. This experience has taught me the importance of taking responsibility, developed my communication skills and taught me how to work collaboratively. I have made presentations to students; I have prepared and given a presentation with my team at the national BACCHUS conference, and I have spoken to high school students in our community. These experiences taught me to be informed and organized, and gave me much more confidence. One of the best parts of being a Wellness Coach is the relationships I have made with my fellow Coaches.
Advisor Shares Keystone College’s Secrets to Success
Tanya Morgan - Outstanding Advisor 2011
Key Choices is Keystone College's one-year-old certified peer education group of have 19 certified peer educators. My executive board (6 group members) really inspires and motivates me as much as I motivate them. This group of students is the reason why Key Choices is doing as well as it is doing. The board has a lot of spirit which they use to educate other students. I won the Area 11 Outstanding Advisor Award because they make me look good every day!
As one of the College Counselors on campus, my job can be extremely hectic and stressful. My role as advisor is a wonderful way for the students and I to work together to creatively empower others. It gives me the opportunity to meet with students that I might not otherwise meet.
The Area 11 Conference was a great way for my students to meet and mingle with other Area 11 students. They all came home from the conference with a wonderful sense of accomplishment, great ideas and many new friends to help share ideas and projects.
New Jersey City University
Raritan Valley Community College
Rutgers University - Newark
The College of New Jersey
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Warren County Community College
William Paterson University
Alfred State University
Paul Smith's College
St. John's University
The College of New Rochelle
University at Albany, SUNY
University at Buffalo (S)
University at Buffalo, State University of New York (V)
California University of Pennsylvania
Cedar Crest College
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Penn State University
Slippery Rock University
The Pennsylvania College of Technology
The University of Scranton
University of Pittsburgh