Apr 23, 2019

Faculty pledge to help students

'A sticker with the triangular pledge symbol on the door of a faculty office identifies the faculty member as a resource to students.

The Alcohol Safety Council launched a faculty pledge program designed to encourage open communication between students with alcohol-related concerns, and faculty members.

The program has 40 faculty members who voluntarily pledged to be open and available to students who need and want to talk.

All information shared by students who seek help from the participants will remain confidential.

“It’s a link that’s not there currently,” said Michael Caldwell, chair of the Alcohol Safety Council faculty subcommittee. “A conduit that will allow students who need help to approach someone they respect and trust: their professors.”

Posters promoting the program have been displayed throughout the campus and list all participating faculty members.

Faculty will also identify themselves by posting the program’s logo, an orange triangle that reads “faculty pledge,” on their office doors.

“This is not an abstinence program but is just to promote wellness and healthy living for students,” Caldwell said.

Students who need help will be directed to the appropriate resources, which may include the Student Health Center or other groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Participants went through a training session to prepare them for potential situations, led by the coordinator for psychological services at the Student Health Center, Gena Gechter.

“This is an excellent program and it is just one more opportunity for students to reach out,” Gechter said.

The program was launched in October as part of alcohol awareness week, which was geared toward informing students about the negative effects of excessive alcohol use and encouraged students to drink responsibly.

“If this program is responsible for one person getting help then it is successful,” Caldwell said. “But because of the type of program it is we may never know if that is the case and that’s OK.”

Students who have concerns are also encouraged to stop by the Student Health Center.
The Student Health Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and walk-in hours are from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

A sticker with the the triangular pledge symbol on the door of a faculty office identifies the faculty member as a resource to students.

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