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Campus Cutie: Angela Pento ’14

 

Smart drinking is cute!  This week’s Campus cutie, Angela Pento, a peer educator at TCNJ is here to give us a brief run-down on how to stay safe and smart while drinking.

Name/Year: Angela Pento Class of 2014

Major: Health and Exercise Science - Teaching

Involvement on Campus: Student Anti-Violence Educator (SAVE) Peer Educator, Cabinet of Student Advisors (COSA) member, Women’s Club Soccer President

What exactly does it mean to be a peer educator?

Peer Educators are responsible for creating positive changes in the TCNJ community by spreading awareness and providing reliable information about resources available to their peers. Anti-Violence Initiatives and the SAVE Peer Educators work together to prevent sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking through educational health outreach programs. SAVE Peer Educators plan and facilitate programs/events to organizations throughout campus. We hope to make TCNJ healthier, safer, and more enjoyable. It’s about friends positively influencing friends to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Why did you decide to get involved as a peer educator?

Being involved in my high school as a peer educator, I know that a small group of thoughtful, dedicated, and passionate people can make a difference in a community. I wanted to be a part of that positive change here at TCNJ. Raising awareness about sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking can create a ripple effect across campus. It asks people to stand up and say enough is enough. What is happening to 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men here at TCNJ is not okay! I have a personal connection with the topics we discuss, so influencing one person to stand up and supporting the victims/survivors makes everything I do worthwhile. Being a SAVE peer educator has helped me learn more about who I am and grow in to the person I want to be.

For this week, we are focusing on safe drinking tips.  As a TCNJ peer educator, what sort of tips can you offer TCNJ students to stay safe while drinking?

SAVE Peer Educators provide a program about bystander intervention. In this program we address the roles bystanders can play during high risk situations. This can be applied to alcohol use. It is important to talk to your friends before you go out/start drinking about what your plans are for the night. Make a packed to go home together or ensure a safe ride home before hand.

What do you think is the biggest mistake college students make when it comes to drinking?

Did you know that legal consent can’t be given in an intoxicated state? If you are intoxicated wait for another time you are sober to get involved with a sexual partner.

How can we, as college students, help others make better decisions while drinking?

I know it is cheesy but use the buddy system. Go out with friends or people you can trust. Make sure to be positive bystanders for people you may see at a party or even out on campus. Most people say, “I am not friends with them, so it isn’t my business.” Imagine that person is someone close to you. Would you want someone else that is the bystander to intervene? Try to always remember the three “D’s.” Direct, distract, and delegate are three different ways to intervene and become an upstander!

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