Welcome to the October 2009 issue of the Health Matters Newsletter, published monthly
by the Health Center and part of the weekly Campus Report. It's purpose is to share
information regarding pertinent medical issues with students, faculty and staff here
at SUNY Fredonia. This month's topics include:
Going to college and living on your own is a living and learning experience. It's
probably the only time in your life that you will ever be living with a community
of people with the similar interests, goals, and, not to mention, germs. Infectious
organisms exist around us each and every day. With germs so common, and almost everywhere,
you should check out these simple habits that you can do to protect yourself from
Most college students would love to go out for a night of fun trick or treating.
However, have you ever gotten the dirty stare when you walked up and said trick or
treat? Yes, once you get out of high school you are simply too old! The good news
is you can avoid that. There are alternative things to do on the SUNY Fredonia Campus!
Here are some ideas on what you could do for the weekend of Halloween:
Visit Hamburg Fairgrounds for “Scare at the Fair”. Begins October 1st, go to www.the-fairgrounds.com for more information. Get a car pool of friends to
Visit The Great Pumpkin Farm. Begins Sept. 26th to Nov. 1st: Visit: www.greatpumpkinfarm.com for more information
Have you attended one of W.H.O.A. (Weekend Hangout Activities) Fredonia’s events?
Friday Oct. 31st starting at 10 PM in Cranston Marche located in University Commons you can come for
a late night breakfast. Cost? 1 meal. What does this meal get you? Over $500 in
prizes and best costume prizes! Come dressed up and ready for a good time!
Volunteer for Safe Halloween sponsored by Phi Mu Alpha! Planned for October 31st, Mason Hall. Volunteer to pass out candy to children in the community. Contact
them for more information.
- If none of those interests you… try our five fun tips for Halloween!
Five Tips for a FUN Halloween Experience:
- Spookify your computer with a scary screensaver!
- Hollow out mini pumpkins and use a battery operated candle. They are inexpensive and look really great, you can even carve or paint faces in
- Keep your pumpkin seeds when gutting your pumpkin so you can roast them up later for
a fun Halloween treat! Look on the Internet for a good recipe.
- Watch a marathon of scary movies! Ask a group of friends to bring one and you can
watch them all in one night.
- Have a pumpkin carving party. Who said carving a pumpkin was for the “kids?” Buy
some pumpkins at Tops, Wal-Mart or even a pumpkin patch. Get some apple cider and
donuts to have your own party!
Spooky Laugh Corner:
Q: What's a MUMMY's favorite music?
A: wRAP Music!
Campus Safety Tips
While walking around campus
- Survey the campus after dark to see that buildings, walkways, quadrangles and parking
lots are adequately secured, lighted and patrolled.
- Avoid walking alone if possible.
- Walk with an air of confidence and stay alert.
- Walk in lighted areas.
- Keep your hand free, not overloaded.
- Have your keys ready.
- If you are being followed: cross the street, scream, run to an occupied residence
or store, or flag down a car.
At dorm room
- Doors and windows to your residence hall should be equipped with quality locks. Room
doors should have peepholes and deadbolts.
- Do not loan out your key. Never compromise your safety for a roommate or friend who
wants the door left unlocked. Replace locks when a key is lost or stolen.
- Use caution admitting strangers.
- Have good lighting around entrances.
- If you are a woman and live alone or with other women, use only your first initials
on your mailbox and, when possible, in phone directories.
- Report suspicious activity to campus police—or to the police if you live off-campus.
While in your car
- Keep windows up and doors locked.
- Park in well-lighted areas and travel on populated, well-lighted streets.
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- If you have car trouble, signal for help by raising the hood or tying a white handkerchief
to the door handle.
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week is in October!
By: DJ Schier
On any college campus, college aged students drinking is an issue, and SUNY Fredonia
is no exception. It effects student’s ability to excel in academics and can also affect
their person well being, both physically and mentally. Every year, BACCHUS, which
is an acronym for Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University
Students, tries to get college campus’ across the country to participate in a weeklong
event called National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. The main goal and purpose
of this week is to teach college students about the dangerous effects that alcohol
has on them and promote being safe and finding alternative actions.
BACCHUS is a network of college students, leaders, and advisors across the country.
They like to give out pamphlets, put up posters, and teach campuses programming to
further promote their mission statement. Their main goal is to educate the college
student base and campus on safety and health initiatives for them to practice, and
potentially, teach other students as well. They can provide training opportunities
for anyone who wants to be an educator, and is always accepting new members into its
nationwide group and network.
Binge drinking and unsafe behavior go hand in hand on any college campus. Here at
SUNY Fredonia, a good amount of students do abuse alcohol and do other things that
are damaging to their health. By having SUNY Fredonia become one of the many college
campuses across the country to be a part of the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness
Week, a difference and positive impact can be made on the students here. More than
3,000 colleges and universities around the country have enacted the week into their
school year, and have seen nothing but positive results. Students react in a way that
helps them when making decisions that could potentially harm them. They have different
ways of coping and forward what they have learned throughout the week to other students
who might not have been directly affected by it.
During the week, students can be a part of educational programs and lectures where
they can learn about all the dangers alcohol can have on their body. The teach that
there are many ways alcohol can affect you based on your gender, body weight, mood,
the type of alcohol, the amount one has eaten, speed of alcohol consumption, and
use of other types of drugs. The group also educates on how it effects them physically
and mentally. Alcohol is a depressant and can make people feel very emotional and
depressed. It has also been called a truth serum, making you more likely to say things
you would be less likely to ever say to someone. Alcohol can also affect you physically.
It impairs vision, hearing, ones level of judgment and coherence. Once any alcohol
has been drank, driving is impaired as well are all motor skills, like reflex and
SUNY Fredonia has a BACCHUS group that has been very active in the past, putting on
demonstrations and helpful, fun, informative skits to educate the campus on the effects
of alcohol. The group could always use more members and supporters, and that would
be a great resource for our campus. SUNY Fredonia has the power to make a difference
this month, and during the week of October 18th to the 24th, so does every college student on this campus. Think twice before you go to that
party. By doing so, you may be able to prevent making a bad decision that can hurt
not only yourself physically and mentally, but also someone else.
Some ideas that you can do during this week could be to go to a nice dinner with your
friends instead of going downtown. Another suggestion is that all ones friends could
have a nice movie and game night in. There are plenty of other options to do, and
by promoting what this week stands for on campus, one can make a huge difference and
impact on this college community.
Alcohol: What You Don't Know Can Harm You
Going off to college is a monumental step in the life of a young adult. It is a stage
of life marked by change and exploration. You move from your parents home into a dormitory
or student housing unit, meet new friends, and discover what it truly is to be out
on your own, making your own decisions, including the decision to drink alcohol. For
many students, drinking is seen as a rite of passage, as part of having fun, of lowering
Alcohol abuse is now a widespread problem on the nation's college campuses. The consequences
of excessive drinking by college students are more significant, more destructive and
more costly than many parents realize. Studies show that four out of five college
students drink alcohol. Two out of five report binge drinking (defined as five or
more drinks for men and four or more for women in one sitting). One in five students
report three or more binge episodes over a period of two weeks.
Statistics to make you think before you take another drink.....
Death: 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related
unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are unintentionally injured
under the influence of alcohol.
Assault: More then 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are assaulted by
another student who has been drinking.
Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are victims of
Do you really know how much you had to drink???
Most people don't know what counts as a standard drink, and therefore, don't realize
how many standard drinks are in the containers in which these drinks are sold.
For beer, the approximate number of standard drinks in:
12 oz can/bottle = 1 standard drink
16 oz can/bottle = 1.3 standard drinks
22 oz can/bottle = 2 standard drinks
40 oz can/bottle = 3.3 standard drinks
For malt liquor, the approximate number of standard drinks in:
12 oz malt liquor = 1.5 standard drinks
16 oz malt liquor = 2 standard drinks
22 oz malt liquor = 2.5 standard drinks
40 oz malt liquor = 4.5 standard drink
For table wine, the approximate number of standard drinks in:
A standard 750 ml (25 oz) bottle of wine = 5 standard drinks
For 80-proof spirits or "hard liquor", the approximate number of standard drinks in:
a mixed drink = 1 or more standard drinks
a fifth (25 oz) = 17 standard drinks
a pint (16oz) = 11 standard drinks
1.75 L (59 oz) = 39 standard drinks
Past the point of possible no return......
Excessive drinking can be hazardous to everyone's health!!! Some people laugh at the
behavior of others who are drunk. Some think that it's even funnier when they pass
out. As you are laughing about the drunk who has passed out in the corner, there a
couple of things that you should know.
It is common for someone who has indulged in an excessive amount of alcohol to vomit
since the alcohol is an irritant. Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary
actions such as breathing and the ability to gag (which prevent choking). Typically,
one of the biggest concerns when someone vomits, and is unable to control their gag
reflex to prevent choking, is aspiration of the vomit. When vomit is aspirated, the
lungs are flooded with foul material which blocks the ability for oxygen to get in
and out. If not treated, this could eventually lead to death .
Common myths about sobering up include drinking black coffee, taking a cold bath or
sleeping it off or walking it off. These are just myths. The only thing that reduces
the affects of alcohol in your system is TIME. And time is something that you do not have enough of when you are suffering from
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in this country. Each
year, more than 211,000 women and 1,700 men in the United States learn that they have
Breast Cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2008, it is estimated
that 182,460 females and 1990 males will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and 40,480
women and 450 men will die from breast cancer.
Research from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that lifestyle and diet is
responsible for up to 60% of cancers in women. A strong link suggests that a lower
estrogen level reduces the risk for developing breast cancer. It appears that estrogen,
a natural female hormone, induces and promotes mammary (breast) tumors. This happens
when too much fat in the diet upsets the estrogen balance in women. Also, women who
have several close maternal relatives (ie., grandmother, mother, aunt, sister) who
develop breast cancer before menopause, the risk may be as high as 50%.
The best prevention is eating a low fat, high fiber diet, limiting or avoiding alcohol,
not smoking, and exercising regularly. Not only does the dietary regime reduce the
risk of breast cancer but it may help prevent many other types of cancer.
The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast. Other
signs include swelling, puckering or dimpling of the skin, or redness or soreness
in the skin. The nipple may become drawn into the chest, change shape, become crusty
or emit a discharge. Some early breast cancers are painless. Any pain or tenderness
that lasts throughout the 28 day menstrual cycle should be reported to your physician.
Mammography, as a diagnostic tool, remains a woman's best defense against breast cancer.
A mammogram can find a breast lump when they are extremely small, too small in many
cases to be detected in a physical exam. There is a 97% cure rate in early diagnosis
where the cancer has not spread. Remember 4 out of 5 lumps are benign and not cancerous. According
to the American Cancer Society, a woman should have her first (baseline) mammogram
between the ages of 35 and 39. Then one should be done every one to two years between
the ages of 40 and 50 and annually thereafter.
Cancer is a multistage process. Ones best defense is to block the process throughout
your lifetime with a healthy lifestyle.
Self breast exams are the simplest, the least time consuming and the first line for
women to detect abnormalities in their breast. Monthly self breast exams performed
7 to 10 days after the start of the menstrual cycle, can familiarize the woman with
her own breasts and make it easier to detect any abnormalities.
How to perform a self breast exam :
- Lay down and place a pillow under your right shoulder. Next, place your right arm
under your head.
- Using your three middle fingers of your left hand, massage your right breast with
the pads of your fingers. Check for any lumps or abnormalities. You can move in a
circular motion, or up and down. Make sure you use the same motion every month.
- Continue the motion, extending to the outside of the breast to your underarm.
- Repeat on left side.
- Next, repeat exam standing up, with one arm behind your shoulder as you examine each
breast. Standing or sitting up allows you to feel the outside of the breast more accurately.
- For added precaution, stand in front of a mirror and squeeze each nipple. Look for
- Take note of any dimpling, redness or swelling.
1. You can do a portion of the exam while you are in the shower. Incorporating it
into a normal activity can make it easier to do, and less of a time constraint. Remember
to mark your calendar every month as a reminder.
2. Do the self breast exam every month at the same time. Menstruating women should
perform it a few days after their period. Women taking oral contraceptives should
do the exam on the first day of starting a new pack of pills.
3. Report any changes to your physician, even if you feel it is minor.