Campus group seeks to explain alcohol use

Mercyhurst Mentors is in its fourth year of educating Mercyhurst students about alcohol use and making better choices.

“We’re not telling people not to drink,” adviser Renee Patton, Ph.D. said.

She said they want to educate students so if they choose to drink, they will make good choices.

This group, which is part of the school’s Recognized Student Clubs and Organizations, has recently finished training its next group of mentors. Eight students went through the national Certified Peer Educator (CPE) training, which makes up a total of 25 mentors.

The organization had the option to focus on many different efforts, but chose alcohol education. The group is funded by state and federal grants.

Mercyhurst Mentors measure their effectiveness through the CORE survey, which is distributed every year. This survey asks questions regarding students’ drug and drinking habits and their perceptions.

One of their findings is that those who take the survey believe 62 percent of the student body drinks twice or more each week. In reality, 79 percent of students drink once a week or less.

Through this survey, Mercyhurst Mentors has found that its educational impact on campus is increasing.

So far during this academic year, the group has held events during Alcohol Awareness Week, a pledge signing and a movie night.

In the future, Mercyhurst Mentors will be going to local schools to teach them about alcohol. Last year they spoke to approximately 650 middle school students, and this year will be speaking to high school students about alcohol and making healthy choices in their lives.

Mercyhurst Mentors will also be working to provide an alternative option and encourage smart decisions for Saint Patrick’s Day this year. The day will begin at the lacrosse game where prizes will be given out, followed by an open skate at the ice center.

After that, there will be free dinner in the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union. Activities after dinner include alcohol jeopardy, a beer goggle maze and a demonstrator machine provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Patton commented on the work those involved in the club have been doing.

“I think they’ve done a great job,” she said. “I’ve been really proud to be their adviser.”

To become a CPE or to join Mercyhurst Mentors, contact Patton at or at extension 3996.