RAs spend day in SHADE

By Raya Tahan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA Residence Hall Directors got a taste of their own medicine this summer.

They attended the alcohol education class which they send students who violate alcohol policies to. It took place August 7. Directors from all 18 halls, as well as their assistants, were present.

The class, called SHADE, Student Health Alcohol and Drug Education, is sponsored by Campus Health Promotions.

Stephanie Ives, a graduate student in Health Promotions, teaches the class along with fellow graduate student Sean Laroque.

Ives said, "I think a lot of the hall directors didn't know exactly what a SHADE class was about. We gave them the class and talked about it."

John Fox, Manzanita-Mohave Hall Director, said, "I definitely learned some things. I think it's important that I know what SHADE is about if students from our hall get sent there."

Fox said he enjoyed the portion of the class which addressed facts and myths about drinking and drug use on campus. He said taking the class definitely encouraged him to use it as an option for alcohol and drug violations.

Ives said the hall directors' class was presented to familiarize and let them know that SHADE is an option for them.

"The feedback seemed wonderful," she said. "They felt comfortable that students got information about substances and what's going on."

Upon moving in, Ives said, all residents sign a contract with the hall which states they will not consume alcohol there if they are under 21. She said she often finds SHADE students saying they got "busted", when in reality, they broke a contract.

The class covers topics including the consequences of sex while under the influence as well as information on sexually transmitted diseases.

"We don't try to scare them or blame them or shame them," said Ives.

She does, however, want to make students aware of common misconceptions. Most University of Arizona students do not have more than five drinks when they go out, she said, but the myth is that over five drinks is a normal amount to consume.

Another misconception, said Ives, is that LSD, mushrooms and ecstasy are common drugs at UA. In reality, a very small percentage of students are actually using them.

The class also includes a video called, "Drinking Stories" which presents different people's experiences with alcohol. The class then discusses the continuum of alcohol use. It ranges from abstinence, social drinking, regular drinking, and problem drinking to addiction. Characteristics and consequences of each type are discussed.

At the class's conclusion, students are given a packet. It contains literature and pamphlets with facts about the topics discussed in class.

About 500 students attended SHADE last school year. Students may be assigned a class by the Dean of Students or the City of Tucson, as well as being sent by their residence halls. Ives said the class is sometimes a consequence accompanied by community service and a fine.

SHADE is presented twice per week in Old Main room 222, on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to noon. It averages eight students per class and is part of the UA's diversion program. For more information, call 621-6483.

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