News

SPECTRUM hopes to unify and inform

SpectrUM [formerly GLBC], is looking forward to an informative and all-encompassing semester loaded with lectures, informative meetings, and fun activities and programs, all aimed at uniting and educating the UM community.
“We’ve seen an increase of enthusiasm, interest and activity,” said Allison Gillespie, advisor and director of special projects for SpectrUM. “We’ve become a more visible group on campus.”
Chris Vazquez, president of SpectrUM, says that the GLBC changed its name in response to an opinion column that was published in the Hurricane last semester.
“We changed our name following an opinion column saying that our name wasn’t inclusive enough of the queer community,” Vazquez said.
Last Thursday SpectrUM, in conjunction with the Counseling Center, the Wellness Center, and BACCHUS hosted an informative lecture session entitled “Sex, Drugs and Clubs”.
Jennifer Brack, assistant dean of students and assistant director for the Center For Alcohol and Other Drug Education, spoke with students about such drugs as ecstasy, ketamine (Special K), GHB, rohypnal (roofies) and OxyContin.
“This is a really important issue,” said Steve Priepke, treasurer of BACCHUS.
“So many people have difficulty finding the line between having a good time and being smart.”
Gina Yacone, vice president for BACCHUS, told of a personal experience in which she saw spaceships ready to take off and giant monsters trying to attack her, after she drank from a drink that had been drugged.
“I couldn’t believe it, I spend my time talking to middle school, high school and college students about being smart and not getting stuff in your drinks- I was like ‘How could this happen to me?’,” Yacone said. “Well, guess what- it happened to me.”
According to a survey conducted last year, 6.2 percent of UM students definitely know of someone being given a date rape drug; 9.1 percent of UM students think they know of an incident but aren’t sure.
“I’ve had people in my office more frequently then I’d like,” Brack said. “We have even found a bar where the bartenders were putting drugs in the drinks.”
Brack gave some important advice for students as well.
“If you suddenly fell tired or really drunk and you don’t know why, like if you’ve only had one or two drinks, tell someone immediately,” Brack said.
Students were provided with Drink Safe Coasters that can test for drugs.
“If someone you know is over-dosing on a drug, do not second guess yourself by worrying about getting yourself or someone else in trouble,” Brack said. “Do what you would want them to do for you.”
Above all, Brack encouraged safety.
“Be educated, and be smart before making a choice,” she said.
Also at the lecture, Janet Tiberian, assistant director of wellness and recreation, presented students with “Sex in the CD”, a virtual video game dealing with sex and STDs.
Students participated in a trivia contest in which two teams, the Lubricators and Friction, tried to answer questions such as: “According to the World Health Organization, how many sex acts are performed each day worldwide?
The answer: 114 million.
“The game was so cool, I want the CD,” sophomore Cate Dundon, member of SpectrUM, said.
Overall, SpectrUM members and officers hope that the lecture session will be the first event in a series of activities planned by the organization.
“People should come to our meetings,” said Laura Pfau, director of SpectrUM Social
Committee. “We do a lot of fun and informative stuff.”
SpectrUM is planning a formal dance later in the semester.
For information on the meeting schedule of SpectrUM, contact the Counseling Center at 8-5511.
For information regarding safe partying, visit www.drinksafecoaster.com, www.partysafe.org and www.dancesafe.com.
If you suspect that you or someone you know has been drugged, or if you have a confidential question, call 1-800-DRUG-HELP, a 24-hour emergency information line.

Leigha Taber can be contacted at l.taber@umiami.edu.

January 28, 2003

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