The offices of Student Life and Health Services at Penn State New Kensington sponsored two weeklong events to increase recognition of alcohol abuse and breast and testicular cancer. The activities provided education regarding screening, warning signs, risk factor and symptoms.
Alcohol Awareness Week, Oct. 22 to 26, is an annual campus initiative to prevent alcohol abuse in a collegiate environment. Geared toward students younger than 21, the daily activities are designed to promote healthy behavior. The highlight of the week was “A Shot of Reality,” a series of audience-participation sketches that provided a humorous and sober look at the effects of alcohol on campuses. A 2008 report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 25 percent of college students report that the academic consequences of their drinking includes missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams and receiving lower grades overall.
“The week went really well,” said Lauren Blum, student life coordinator. “We had a lot of participation from students who really enjoyed the full week of activities."
Cancer Awareness Week, Nov. 12 to 16, focused on raising consciousness of breast and testicular cancers. More than 75 students competed in the Pink Ball volleyball games and Blue Ball dodge ball contests. Activities concluded with the 37th annual Great American Smokeout, which encourages people to give up smoking and raises the awareness of lung cancer.
“Testicular cancer is the most common but treatable cancer found in the male college population,” said Elaine Zarichnak, campus nurse. “While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stage.”
Alcohol and cancer awareness activities were organized by Zarichnak and Blum, in partnership with Adagio Health.
For more information, call 724-334-6063