Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

National safe sex activist & educator to visit campus

Pittsburg State University students will hear an alcohol awareness message that differs from the usual "don't drink and drive" theme. National alcohol awareness speaker Joel Goldman will talk to students about "Sex under the influence" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, in the McCray Hall. Goldman's appearance is part of the campus Alcohol Awareness Week observance.

Most college students are sensible enough to know that drinking and driving don't mix, Goldman said. One wrong turn, one misjudgment from an impaired driver and lives can be lost. Most of those same students, however, give far less thought to another alcohol-related behavior that can be just as life-threatening: unprotected sex.

"My job is to help students make the connection between alcohol and sex and the consequences we're likely to face when we mix the two," said Goldman. Some of the consequences Goldman highlights in his program are direct, such as contracting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV. Others are more subtle, Goldman says. "Like when we pair up with an 'ex,' someone we know we don't want to be with and wouldn't go home with if we'd given it sober consideration," he said.

Goldman shares stories from his own college experience to illustrate his message.

"I remember one morning I woke up and discovered that I'd gotten stitches in my leg," Goldman said. "And, if that weren't enough, I wasn't alone in my bed! I had no idea how either of these things occurred."

Goldman uses creativity and humor in sharing stories of his own and others╩╝ exploits while under the influence. He also shows a video that presents a unique "before and after" perspective from students on college campuses.

"We asked students what they thought about sex and alcohol," Goldman said. "During the daytime, their answers were thoughtful and showed true knowledge about the consequences."

At night, their stories changed dramatically.

"The same students caught on tape after they'd had a few drinks were much more honest about how they really behaved. The video effectively demonstrates that even the most aware among us can lapse in judgment when alcohol is in the mix."

Approximately 80 percent of sexual assaults on campus involve alcohol and alcohol plays a significant role in a large number of other campus problems as well. Given these statistics, Goldman feels there is no more important topic to discuss on college campuses today. Goldman said students must begin talking honestly about the problems caused by excessive alcohol use.

"There is no judgment anywhere in this presentation and the point is not to get students to stop consuming alcohol altogether," Goldman said. "Instead, I hope to give them some tools that they can use to make better decisions."

Goldman has been speaking to college students about risky behavior for more than 10 years. He has presented on more than 800 campuses and at more than 50 national conferences. He is the recipient of top national awards from the National Interfraternity Conference, the Association of Fraternity Advisers, and the Ryan White Foundation for his work in educating college students.

For more information, contact J.T. Knoll, PSU prevention and wellness coordinator, 620-235-4062, jknoll@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---