PAC: The Prevention Awareness Crew
The Prevention Awareness Crew is a group of Adams State undergraduate students committed to promoting healthy choices on the ASU campus.
For many students, the university experience offers a level of freedom previously unavailable. The Prevention Awareness Crew provides peer education aimed at helping students make responsible choices with their new freedom. Choices around drug and alcohol use, responsible sexual behavior, use of tobacco, and healthy choices around eating are all issues with which students often struggle.
PAC members also work in sexual assault prevention on the ASU campus. National statistics suggest that 1 in 4 women will experience a sexual assault by the time they complete a college education. For first year women at ASU, an assault is most likely to occur between the time she arrives on campus and the Thanksgiving holiday. Through awareness projects and classroom and campus presentations, PAC members spread information on how to protect oneself from sexual assault, and how to receive services if a sexual assault occurs.
If you or a friend is sexually assaulted, call Tu Casa at 589-2465 to speak with an advocate. The Tu Casa hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tu Casa provides services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence throughout the San Luis Valley. You may also call this number to receive information about sexual assault issues in general. The counselors at the Counseling Center are also available to assist victims of sexual assault, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information about sexual assault issues, contact the Counseling Center at 587-7746.
Becoming a PAC Member
The mission of the PAC program as a whole is to provide a positive presence on campus encouraging students to make choices that support students' long-term goals. Specific areas covered are alcohol use, tobacco use, prevention of sexual assault, responsible sexual behavior, use of other drugs, and healthy choices around eating. The class is designed to provide intense training and quality supervision to those students providing peer education and awareness projects on campus.
If you feel that after reading the information on this page that you would like to make a difference in your life and the lives of other ASU students, register for the PAC by:
- Pick up an application from the Counseling Center at Richardson Hall 220
- Register for PAC, Psychology 379 (1 credit), by picking up a label from the Counseling Center. Graduate credit may be earned through an arrangement with the instructor
- Attain a letter of recommendation from an ASU faculty member
- Interview with the PAC instructor and/or PAC coordinator
In order to be a successful PAC member and to enjoy reaping the benefits of improving our campus, prospective members must agree to abide and fulfill the following contract. This contract ensures student and program credibility.
- Agree to maintain confidentiality.
- Attend the PAC training sessions throughout the semester.
- Interview for PAC with the instructor and/or coordinator before any training, and bring along a completed application and letter of recommendation.
- Be at least a sophomore to register for PSYC 379. First year students may volunteer with the Prevention Awareness Crew.
- Not have a felony criminal record.
- Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA while being a PAC member.
- Understand that most PAC communication will be via campus email and agree to activate and periodically check the ASU email account.
- Agree to follow the given grading system.
- Recognize that PAC members may be viewed as role models and to conduct oneself in a manner that reflects positively on the PAC and on Adams State.
- Agree to meet for supervision when the instructor or coordinator see fit.
- Agree to do at least one educational presentation or other activity as arranged with the instructor.
- Agree to make arrangements with the instructor for additional PAC responsibilities, in order to receive Graduate credit if applicable
Students who participate in the PAC class will:
- Understand the prevalence of sexual assault in the nation and, particularly, on college campuses
- Understand the legal definitions of sexual assault
- Understand standard prevention measures
- Be able to utilize basic crisis intervention procedures, including observation, listening skills, and care giving
- Understand and disseminate information about the process of reporting a sexual assault, including the medical and legal procedures involved
- Understand the victims' rights and campus policies on sexual assault
- Comprehend the effects of sexual assault on a victim and be able to sympathize with a victim
- Deliver an educational/prevention presentation to a group on campus or at the middle school or high school level
Initial Training and Class Meetings
Each week, a one-hour class will be conducted to continue discussion, for ongoing training, and to share information about PAC topics. The meeting time is set as Wednesdays from 12:00 noon to 12:50 p.m.
Students may be required to participate in awareness projects over the course of the semester. Awareness projects will be planned and staffed by PAC members.
The following topics will be included:
- Legal consequences for various choices
- Sexual assault effects, including PTSD and other medical issues
- Marketing practices by Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol in the USA
- Social norming practices, including statistics regarding prevalence of different behaviors on the ASU campus
- Other prevention measures and strategies
- Giving an educational presentation
- Campus policies
The CCASA (Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault) training manual is available for training on sexual assault issues. In the past, the San Luis Valley District Attorney's Office, the ASU Police Department, the ASU administration, the San Luis Valley SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners), the San Luis Valley Prevention Coalition, representatives from the Bacchus Network, and Tu Casa have all participated as guest training presenters.
One critical training component for university students is an understanding of "date rape drugs" and how they work. The # 1 "date rape drug" is alcohol. Alcohol is easily available and often taken willingly by the victim. Alcohol affects men and women differently and women are much more likely to black-out when engaging in high risk drinking than men. A state of black-out occurs when the level of alcohol in the brain stops the brain from writing short-term memories. Persons in a black-out state are still able to function physically, but will not retain memories of their behaviors. Alcohol is also commonly used in conjunction with other "date rape drugs" such as Roofies.
Roofies are used in the short-term treatment of insomnia and as a sedative hypnotic and pre-anesthetic medication. Roofies, or Rohypnol, have physiological effects similar to Valium but are 10 times more potent. According to an NIDA report, the drug is being given to females without their consent in order to produce a disinhibiting effect. Some women have reported being raped after unknowingly being given Rohypnol. Rohypnol is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Assailants often secretly put Rohypnol into victim's drinks in what has been termed "roofie rapes". It is very dangerous to mix Rohypnol with alcohol or other drugs. The combination may produce extremely low blood pressure, respiratory depression, difficulty breathing, coma, or even death. Rohypnol comes in tables of 1 mg. or 2 mg. dosage that are packaged in pre-sealed bubble packs. Because Rohypnol is a legal drug in many countries, the packaging looks legitimate. Rohypnol's effects being within 30 minutes, peak within 2 hours, and may persist for up to 8 hours or more depending on dosage. Rohypnol is manufactured worldwide, particularly in Europe and Latin America. However, it is not manufactured nor approved for legitimate medical use in the United States. The drug is being brought into the United States from Mexico and Colombia via Texas and Florida. Adverse effects include decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, drowsiness, visual disturbances, dizziness, confusion, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Women who have been raped while under the effect of Rohypnol report not being able to remember what happened. Rohypnol can be very dangerous as a person under the influence loses all control over bodily functions. Asphyxiation can be a major cause for concern. Currently, Rohypnol is classified as a controlled substance under Schedule IV, which includes drugs that have an accepted medical use and whose abuse may lad to limited physical or psychological dependence. Florida's attorney general is being asked to reclassify the drug as a Schedule I substance which would place it in the same category as heroin and LSD. If Rohypnol is suspected in a sexual assault, the drug can be detected through urine tests for up to 60 hours. Hoffman-LaRouche, the manufacturer of Rohypnol has made a testing capability available to law enforcement, free of charge, that detects Rohypnol in urine. Such testing capability can be used as evidence in courts.