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The PSU Student Prevention & Wellness program strives to enhance each student's understanding of the health risks that present themselves as part of the college experience. This is done in the belief that giving students up-to-date information and practical options results in more healthy and satisfying college experiences. The office also serves as resource of prevention and wellness information and education for faculty and administration.

GORILLAS IN YOUR MIDST is a nationally affiliated peer health education group who complete a comprehensive two credit hour course designed to help them educate peers to make healthy choices. The peer educators are the backbone of prevention and wellness efforts. They offer educational, peer theatre and interactive programs on such topics as: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Date Rape, Sexual Assault, STD's, HIV/AIDS, Contraception, Suicide, Smoking Cessation, Eating Disorders, Diversity, Stress Management and Depression. Phone 620-235-4062 or e-mail for more information.

Student Prevention and Wellness, Gorillas In Your Midst Peer Health Education and the Substance Abuse Focus Group work closely with Campus Activities, GAMMA, the Sexual Assault Safety Awareness Committee, SafeRide, the World AIDS Day Committee, and the AIDS Resource Network of Southeast Kansas to plan and support programming such as National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, the Great American Smoke-out, World AIDS Day, Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Karaoke Night, Safe Spring Break, Safe Holiday Break and Sexual Responsibility Week.

What is the purpose of social norming?

Social norm theory states that individuals are highly influenced by what they think their peers are doing or thinking. The theory also states that students typically overestimate problem behavior, such as high-risk alcohol consumption, and underestimate healthy behavior. The theory predicts these misperceptions increase problem behaviors and decrease healthy behaviors because students are acting in accordance to what they think is "normal". Social norm theory predicts that correcting misperceptions of the norm is likely to result in decreased problem behavior and an increase in healthy behavior.

Surveys on our campus have shown that our students tend to overestimate how much and how often other students drink. Prevention and Wellness is trying to share the accurate picture of student alcohol consumption at Pitt State, with the expectation that doing so, combined with good alcohol education and environmental management, will result in a larger number of students drinking moderately or abstaining, and a smaller number of students making high risk choices. Posters, t-shirts, hi-liters, key chains, bookmarks, footballs, cups etc. with social norming messages depicting the facts about alcohol use on the PSU campus are distributed free to students throughout the school year. This strategy, when combined with the promotion of harm reduction alternatives such as the PSU SafeRide program, has been successful at a number of colleges and universities across the country.

What can faculty and staff do?

All of us need to work together to create an environment that supports and encourages students to make good decisions about alcohol. Keeping students accountable, not making jokes about alcohol or condoning use is imperative. In addition it is important to help students who may be at risk for alcohol problems to know what resources are available.

For educational and resource information on student prevention and wellness topics please call 235-4062 or e-mail

J.T. Knoll, Coordinator
Student Prevention & Wellness
Advisor, Gorillas In Your Midst - Peer Health Education


April GAB Events:

Thursdays with "U"

Slam Poet, Oompa will be performing in the Overman Student Center Uclub on Thursday, April 5th at 7pm.

BANANARAMA - Stadium Concert

GAB presents BANANARAMA a live music festival that will take place on Thursday, April 26th at 7pm in Carnie Smith Stadium. With bands, Cover Drive and Half the Animal. There will also be various attractions, including a rock wall. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 25th and will also be available at the door. The event is FREE to students with PSU ID, $3 for PSU faculty, and $5 for the community.

Stressed Out?

Sressed Gorilla

Feeling Stressed? Test Anxiety? Log off in one of the five massage chairs in the Relaxation Room adjacent to the U-Club in Overman Student Center or try one of these useful Relaxation/Visualization Exercises!