BY SHANA PETRIELLO // DEC. 5, 2011 //

R.A.G.E. stands for Raising Awareness through Group Education. R.A.G.E. Peer educators are health and wellness advocates here at Curry College, and the group is a recognized organization through Student Government Association. We aim to raise awareness and to positively influence other students’ perceptions of alcohol, drugs, stress and healthy habits.

Events and programs are held in classrooms and around campus to provide outreach to other students. As peer educators, we plan and design events that are interactive and promote healthy behaviors. Our goal is to accurately represent the concerns of responsible students and to not judge the decisions of our peers. Instead, we try to educate them about safe and responsible decision-making.

As part of the larger prevention efforts from the college’s Alcohol and Drug Awareness department, R.A.G.E. has conducted multiple programs over the past two years. Last fall, we featured a DUI Simulator program through which 250 students, who pledged to not drink and drive, received a mock driving under the influence citation ticket. This year, during our Wellness Fair in October, students took a similar pledge and we gave green rubber bracelets to students that read: “Be a sober designated driver.”

R.A.G.E. has geared most of its efforts this semester toward first-year students by holding programs in their residence halls to find out what activities and information they need to make safer choices. Programs have included dance/pizza parties and trivia game programs, as well as First-Year Seminar information presentations. We have also had a presence at the two dance parties hosted by S.E.E. this semester.

One thing we really enjoy doing is challenging misperceptions people have about alcohol. For example, did you know that 42 percent of students nationwide have NOT consumed five or more drinks when they partied or socialized in the last two weeks? We are trying to get the right information out there so that people are making safe and healthy choices.

So, here are some tips if you do choose to drink alcohol:

* 1.5 ounces (shot-glass size) is the standard drink size for hard alcohol. Any more than that in your cup constitutes more than one drink.

* Drink slowly and pace your drinking. It takes the body one hour to process one standard drink.

* The only thing that will sober an individual up is time—not water, caffeine, bread or a shower.

* Be aware of the signs of alcohol poisoning: vomiting, incoherence, slow or irregular breathing, passed out and cannot be awakened, cold or clammy skin. If any of these symptoms exist, the best way to get help for a friend is to call 617-333-2222 (on-campus) or 911 (off-campus).

We encourage the Curry community to attend our future events. If you are interested in getting involved, feel free to attend one of our open meetings, Thursday nights at 6, in the Gray Meeting Room, 2nd floor of the Student Center.

Shana Petriello is a senior health major and president of R.A.G.E.

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