On being safe at college, college binge drinking, drugs and how to help students make better decisions

This episode of Saint Jude Retreats Radio show features a conversation about being safe at college, substance use in college years and supporting and developing independence in students. The topic was suggested by Profs. Pecoraro and de Roulet’s book, The Caring Professor: A Guide to Effective Rewarding and Rigorous Teaching.

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The Intro:

The radio show opens with the radio show host and Executive Director of Saint Jude Retreats, Michelle Dunbar, touching on the subject of what Saint Jude Retreats is, and what is the philosophy behind it. She discusses the topic of fostering independence and being safe at college as inspired by her show topic with Professors Pecoraro and de Roulet and related current events in the news.

In The News:

Trending topics follow, with local and national news. Dunbar discusses:

  • Criticism after the release of a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assaults fails to address the role of substance use as a factor from Huffington Post
  • An article on Palcohol (powdered alcohol) from The Scientific American
  • Article from Slate.com regarding the offspring of helicopter parents entering college years and their inability to know how to “have fun”
  • Discussion of lyrics in popular music “advertising” branded substances and the impact on consumption from USA Today.com

The Interview:

The interview with our guests Professors Pecoraro and de Roulet with Dunbar discusses the topic of substance use experimentation and being safe at college and how to foster independence in students with parental and faculty supports. Professors Pecoraro and de Roulet maintain a blog titled “Student Caring” on student safety and how parents and teachers can help suggest that building trust, respect, and rapport will provide a platform of communication for exploration during these college years. Professor de Roulet states:

“There is not a lot that you can do in terms of supervising your student from 3000 miles [sic] away but if you can get good honest communication going and show that you kind of respect their freedom and their adulthood and you are there to help, that seems to work pretty well.”

The Listeners’ Questions: 

The radio show ends with Dunbar answering questions by listeners.

  • Brady from East Greenbush, age 20: I am currently enrolled in college and I heard a friend of mine comment on binge drinking that drinking in college reduces the chance of being an alcoholic later in life. Is that true?
  • Lisa from Schenectady, age 22: Before I went to college I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke and I didn’t do drugs. Now, a couple of years down the road, I have to admit I do all three. With my graduation approaching, I am just concerned that this will affect my life and I am worried that I won’t be able to stop.