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Dealing with difficult subject matter

September 25, 2014 In Lakeland University Blog
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Lakeland’s recent “Virtual Party at the President’s House” was informative and educational, and dealt with extremely difficult subject matter.

“It made me uncomfortable,” one male student said after watching the skits that were part of the program, prompting several other students to quietly nod their heads in agreement.

The event, which culminated nearly six months of planning by Lakeland College graduate hall director Amanda Farrar, featured a “virtual house party” with six skits presented in various rooms of the President’s House. The topics addressed in the skits, acted out by Lakeland’s residence assistants and viewed by the students, included the dangers of having one’s drink drugged, being caught on campus with marijuana, blacking out from too much drinking or mixing alcohol and prescription medication, making life-damaging decisions due to alcohol or drug use and contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

More than 250 Lakeland students attended the walk-through tour. They were admitted into the house in groups of 20 and brought to each room by “tour guides.” Several Lakeland College staff members also participated in the event.

After the final skit, Lakeland director of counseling services Cary Knier and counselor Alex Liosatos spoke with each group about what the students had seen and how they felt. In addition, two representatives from Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County, a domestic violence shelter and counseling agency, joined in the discussions and were available to talk with students. They shared national statistics about sexual assaults and drug- and alcohol-related tragedies on college campuses.

At one point, Knier urged every student to take out his or her cell phone and program the 24-hour campus security number – which is 920-565-1126.

“It was an outstanding event, and very, very important as well,” said President Dan Eck, who went through the tour with students and watched each skit.

“Ignoring the realities of modern campus life would be a missed opportunity to help our students develop and learn to make sound decisions. Some very tough subjects were covered, but they were handled with the appropriate levels of seriousness and compassion.”


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