Aside from the grueling and constant work, college is place to enjoy and bask in new experiences. During this time, independence is a path that all students are more than willing to take. College wouldn’t be this wondrous experience without the infamous social scene that that comes along with it.
Although partying and having fun are a must, it’s extremely important not to neglect one’s safety and the well-being of oneself and others. This seems like an easy enough concept. But when put in a situation that could possibly jeopardize safety, who is to say what is the best way to react?
Mercy College has teamed up with Everfi to introduce two online courses that will help students tackle some of these hazardous situations: AlcoholEdu and Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault.
At first glance, you’d probably expect these courses to be filled with cookie cutter lectures or common clichés that you’ve heard all of your life like, “Say no to drugs,” but that is far from the content that lies within these classes.
AlcoholEdu measures a student’s awareness and understanding of alcohol use. The course opens up with a welcome and a promise that students will not be told that they cannot drink. They will simply present students with truth and facts that will guide his or her to make smart decisions about alcohol.
“This course was actually really interesting. I was enjoying each step. I really liked how interactive it was,” says health science major Shelsie Delphin after completing half of the course.
Delphin is one of many students who occasionally enjoys going out to social settings where alcohol will be served. When she first heard about the courses, she didn’t think much of them, but she was pleasantly surprised with how interesting it was.
“One of my professors suggested that I should take it. She was familiar with the programs. I thought it was going to be some long, boring survey, but it turned out to be really interactive and entertaining.”
Just as Delphin mentioned, these courses are interactive, and students will be in tune with all subject matter every step of the way. This provides a great learning experience and takes away any negative prejudgments that students have about these courses.
“I like how it wasn’t just informative on the aspects of alcohol consumption, but about you and your relationship with alcohol as a college student. I think it’s great that some of the questions were personalized. I felt like I was learning something new about myself,” says senior psychology major, Melissa Augustin.
Augustin is referring to a particular section of the course where students who may possibly have a problem with alcohol abuse can trace where these issues came from. During this portion, students are asked questions about their background and potential risk factors.
The second online course is Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault. This program will not only focus on sexual assault, but relationship violence and stalking as well. Like AlcoholEdu, its main purpose is to ensure the safety and well being of students. This program is one that a current female Mercy College student wishes she had gone through at her previous school three years ago.
“It happened at a party not too far away from my campus. I was eighteen and felt excited just about life and college. I’ve never been away from home before. That night changed my life,” says the junior English major who prefers to remain anonymous.
She like many other students heard the stories about sexual assault on different campuses and never expected it to happen to her. You’ve probably heard about roofies and other date rape drugs being slipped into a girl’s drink or even heard people making jokes about it. This nightmare of being violated unfortunately became reality for her.
“I knew him. Well, I thought I did. We’d see each other around campus and talk, maybe flirt here and there. He was at the party and my friends were kind of doing their own thing. He brought me all of my drinks. I know it was dumb, but he never gave me a reason not to trust him.”
She wanders off in her mind as she looks down at her feet.
“That night put my life on hold for two years. I dropped out of school. I couldn’t sleep or eat. I stayed in my room 24/7 until my parents finally got me counseling. My friends and family tell me that I’m one of the lucky ones,” she says with a look of relief and regret.
This young woman is just one many who have fallen victim to sexual assault on campus. Haven can help in the prevention of these horrid events from happening. In his course, he gets to know each student on a personal level. It asks each student what he or she wants and values in relationships. Students are given an in-depth examples of what is an unhealthy or alarming situation when it comes to sex and relationships.
AlcoholEdu and Haven are informative, relatable and key tools for a college student’s journey. Each course in totality is about two hours long, but can be taken in multiple sittings. These courses also respect your privacy, so all survey responses are completely confidential.
The most important effect to get from these courses is a better college environment for oneself and the student body. The results from these courses can help Mercy bring in programs for those who may struggle with any problems presented in these assessments.
Whether you dorm or commute, love this school or dreadfully can’t wait to leave, you want to make an amazing experience out of it. Mercy College is our campus and we owe it to ourselves to take part and ensure that we make it a place of comfort and prosperity. It all starts with you.