Oh, Snap! promotes healthy choices

“Oh, SNAP!” is not a phrase  typically thought of when students discuss ways to encourage the end of drug use and awareness of safe alcohol use on campus.  Students, faculty, staff and community members attended the Students Networking About Problems (Oh SNAP!) workshop to discuss alcohol and marijuana use and help students gain skills necessary to engage in civil conversations.

Students were separated into groups to work on various marketing ideas that could be used to help make the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus more aware of the dangers of substance abuse.  Participants also acted out skits showing the right thing to do when dealing with alcohol and drugs firsthand.

Katie Bier, a senior business administration major, said the experience wasn’t as informative as she hoped.

“I felt that there was no middle ground.  It was either you never drank in your life or you were a crazy binge drinker,” said Bier.

Many college students recognize drinking as a part of today’s society, but choosing how to drink was what Bier said should have been addressed more.

“I believe the conference would have been better if they would have taught us how to be safe while going out,” Bier said. “I know we should lower the drinking rate, but the best way to accomplish that is to tell us the straight facts of what alcohol and drugs can do to you.”

Angela O’Brien, sophomore criminal justice major and resident assistant, said it was a good refresher on how to confront alcohol and drug use.  O’Brien also said she learned some new ways to address any issues she may experience in the residence halls, as well as new strategies for implementing awareness and change on campus.

“The skits provided more exposure to different situations that could possibly come up either in a residence hall or in real life,” said O’Brien.

The skit O’Brien’s group performed showed how to apply certain goals to resolve the situation from the perspective of either the student or another person involved.  In their scenario, a stressed student felt taking a few hits from the bong would be the best way to deal with the stress.

“Our response was to refer the student to different areas of campus where that student could seek help,” said O’Brien. “We wanted to try and get the student involved in active problem solving instead of harmful escape practices.”

Oh SNAP! is an annual conference that aims to help students in all areas of study learn how to appropriately and safely deal with substance abuse of all measures.  For more information contact Val Wetzel, coordinator of Oh SNAP!, at 608-342-1448 or at [email protected]