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6 February 2007
JSU Peer Educators Up for
Area 8 Program of the Year Award

Jacksonville State University Peer Educators are once again up for the Area 8 Program of the Year Award at the Spring 2007 BACCHUS Network™ Conference.  This distinguished group has received the Area 8 Program of the Year award for the last four years in a row ('02-'03 through '05-'06).

JSU Peer Educators comprise the local chapter of an international organization known as The Bacchus Network . The BACCHUS Network™ is a university- and community-based network focusing on comprehensive health and safety initiatives. The organization promotes student and young adult campus- and community-wide leadership on healthy and safe lifestyle decisions concerning alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use, unsafe sexual practices, and other high-risk behaviors. The Network also supports affiliated schools’ peer education efforts with programming ideas, recruiting techniques, membership retention, leadership training, team building, and educational materials and giveaways.

The BACCHUS Network™ is divided into 12 areas throughout the United States. Each area holds an annual conference during the spring, with a different state hosting the event every year. This year is Florida’s turn to welcome the schools of Area 9, comprised of Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina.

Florida State University’s Peer Educators, sponsored by Thagard Student Health Center as part of the Healthy Campus 2010 initiative, will host this year’s annual BACCHUS Network™ Area 9 conference February 16 – 17. The Area 9 conference will be held on Florida State University’s campus in the Student Services Building. The BACCHUS Network™ activities and workshops are scheduled Friday, Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Area 9 has invited Area 8, which includes schools from Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, to participate in the symposium this year. JSU will be sending a group of advisors and students to attend the conference.  They will leave campus on Friday, Feb. 16th and return Sunday, Feb. 18th.

This spring conference is instructive, inspirational and fun, while also being a reminder of the impact peer education groups have on prevention and educational efforts on college campuses. Peer educators and advisors who attend the Area 9 conference will have a chance to meet with other students and instructors to share ideas, knowledge, expertise and experiences. The symposium is a great opportunity for attendees to learn what other colleges and universities are doing with their peer education programs, pick up new ideas for fundraising and publicity, and meet the area leadership team.

Highlights of the conference include a keynote address by Tony Carvajal, a consultant and trainer on leadership, teambuilding and management issues; Certified Peer Education Training for advisors and students; and a SIDNE (Simulated Impaired DriviNg Experience) demonstration. The SIDNE is a battery-powered vehicle that simulates the effects of impairment from alcohol or other drugs on a motorist's driving skills. Nationally recognized speaker Mark Sterner also will share his DUI experience with conference attendees.

In conjunction with the BACCHUS Network
™ conference, the Florida Higher Education Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (FHEASAP) will present a one-day workshop on February 17 for advisors, community members and higher education professionals interested in underage and high risk alcohol use by college students from a national and statewide perspective.

Featured speakers for the higher education workshop are Dr. Mark Goldman, associate director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and faculty member at the University of South Florida, and Dr. Alex Wagenaar, professor of epidemiology and health policy research at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. A panel discussion with Mr. Bill Janes, Director of the Florida Office of Drug Control, and Dr. Steve Hougland, Director of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, will also take place.

Registration forms for the higher education workshop are available by emailing Bob Ruday at The registration deadline is Feb. 12.

For more information see JSU's Peer Educators.

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