Health Promotion

Mission Statement of the Health Promotion Department

"The OSU Health Promotion Department provides leadership in the development and sustainability of an inclusive healthy campus community that maximizes student success by engaging in collaborative processes, education, and advocacy."

The Health Promotion Department is committed to providing health promotion and prevention programs for OSU students. To request a program, complete and submit the online Program Request Form.


Consistent with our mission, the Health Promotion Department provides outreach programs on a variety of college health issues. Many of our programs are targeted at the most common concerns and interests facing college students:

Outreach programs are designed to heighten awareness, increase knowledge and to direct students to appropriate resources. Health Promotion staff offers a variety of outreach presentations. Programs covering many aspects of health are available upon request to university residence halls, classrooms, clubs/organizations and the Greek community.

Brochures on a wide variety of topics are available from the display racks on the third floor of the health center; bulk quantities for group presentations are available on request.

Health Promotion facilitates programs and events, such as:

Peer Health Advocates (PHA) is a student volunteer program designed to promote health in the OSU community and beyond. This program is open and available to all students. Volunteers can choose to be involved in one or more of the following focuses of PHA:

Other services of the Health Promotion Department include private consultations and individual assessments which are offered to accommodate the needs of all students. Individual evaluations offered include: lifestyle assessment, planning for health risk reduction, tobacco cessation, stress reduction and alcohol and other drug evaluation and referral.

To access any services or resources of the Health Promotion Department, call 541-737-2775 or drop by the office, Room 337, Plageman Student Health Center.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Oregon State University is committed to maintaining an educational environment and workplace free from drugs and alcohol. The university supports programs for the prevention of abuse of alcohol and controlled substances by university students and employees, as well as assistance programs for those with problems related to controlled substance abuse. We strive to educate the campus community about responsible alcohol and other drug use.

OSU and the "3-in-1 Framework"

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) established a committee to determine the state of prevention for institutions of higher education and submitted a report titled “A Call To Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges.” This report has become the cornerstone by which alcohol abuse prevention programming on college campuses is based. The committee determined that few prevention programs had enough research support to suggest that they would be “proven effective” for college students (NIAAA, 2002). However, this report did outline a framework for developing a comprehensive prevention strategy on U.S college campuses. The “3-in-1 framework,” as it is now known, describes structuring policies, programs, and practices that are focused on three levels of intervention:

1. Individual students (and student groups);

2. Campus as a whole; and

3. Campus and surrounding community.

OSU has been working toward such a framework, incorporating the following procedures and partnerships:  

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education

OSU ascribes to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). CAS is a consortium of 35 professional associations concerned with the development and promulgation of professional standards and guidelines for student learning and personal development support programs and services in institutions of higher learning. The mission of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education is to promote the improvement of programs and services to enhance the quality of student learning and development. CAS is a consortium of professional associations who work collaboratively to develop and promulgate standards and guidelines and to encourage self-assessment. 

Policy Enforcement

OSU supports consistent enforcement of violations of the OSU alcohol and other drug policies and state laws. OSU works closely with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission via a partnership with the Oregon State Police in the enforcement and education regarding such policies and the state laws.

U.S Department of Education Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Regulations

Part 86, the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Regulations (Education Department General Administrative Regulations [EDGAR]), requires that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, an institution of higher education (IHE) must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. If audited, failure to comply with the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Regulations may cause an institution to forfeit eligibility for federal funding.

In order to be able to certify its compliance with the regulations, an IHE must adopt and implement a drug prevention program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by all students and employees both on school premises and as part of any of its activities. Creating a program that complies with the regulations requires an IHE to do the following:

Off-Campus Involvement

Oregon Colleges and Community Coalition on Alcohol Conference: OSU has been a participating member of the Coalition and been a frequent host of the OCCC Conference. The emphasis of the conference is to reduce underage drinking on college campuses and to reinforce the efficacy of Campus/Community Coalitions.

The Partnership for Reducing Underage Drinking: This community-based coalition involves members of the community surrounding OSU that work together to prevent underage drinking.

Governor’s Taskforce to Reduce Underage Drinking: OSU is a represented as a member of this taskforce.


The up2u program is an education-based campus prevention effort that focuses on the reduction of high-risk alcohol use and other drugs. Up2u empowers students to make healthier choices by proving them with information and tools that have been demonstrated to be effective with college students.

Our presenters engage with students in a fun, interactive, positive and intellectually stimulating manner. Up2u is a voluntary program, and presentations are available upon request by faculty, staff, coaches, student organizations, and the Greek community. Students can also meet with up2u staff to ask questions or receive information.

Take the eCHUG alcohol assessment Take the eTOKE marijuana assessment

Students can also use e-CHUG (alcohol) and e-TOKE (marijuana) to receive anonymous information about their own use. These free online tools provide students with information in a meaningful by as comparing their use to campus data, calculating cost spent and calories consumed, and providing specific risk factors.

If you are here because you are required to take an alcohol class, please go to the IMPACT page.

About up2u

Up2u is an education-based campus prevention effort that focuses on the reduction of high-risk  alcohol use. The program utilizes empirically based theories and approaches specifically designed for college students. Our presenters are trained on the following approaches, utilizing them in a fun, interactive, positive, and intellectually stimulating manner.


Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students is a nationally recognized and empirically validated program for helping students reduce high-risk alcohol behaviors. It focuses on helping students identify negative and harmful consequences of their use. It acknowledges that abstinence from alcohol is the safest option but not always the most acceptable choice for students. Thus, the program focuses on harm reduction as opposed to a “just say no” approach.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing has gained widespread acceptance in chemical abuse treatment and college counseling. It is a focused and goal-directed approach to working with college students. It attempts to meet students where they are in terms of change. In this context, the ultimate goal is to help students explore and resolve their ambivalence to changing behaviors around alcohol use.

Social Norms

Social norms approaches assume that students may have inaccurate perceptions about the quantity and frequency of alcohol use of their fellow college students. Often students hear the most provocative and salacious stories about other students. They rarely hear what usually happens as it makes for less outrageous stories. Thus, social norms seek to gather accurate use data and then promote the accurate data in conjunction with healthy and protective behaviors.

Education and Skills Building

Many students lack a thorough understanding about many aspects of alcohol and its effects. Up2u helps students understand the neurological, psychological, and physiological effects of alcohol, blood alcohol levels, gender differences, tolerance, the size of a standard drink, and other relevant topics. Up2u participants receive a customized blood alcohol card to understand the effects of alcohol specific to their weight and gender. Presenters also link the negative academic effects of high risk alcohol use using current campus data.

Use Assessment

In order for students to make safer choices the student must have an understanding of their current use. This includes quantity of alcohol consumed, frequency of consumption, type of alcohol, peak use, and typical use. In order to meet the needs of our students the up2u program has enlisted e-CHUG. This online tool assesses alcohol use, incorporates social norms data and provides students with interesting feedback such as “How many cheeseburgers you drank last month” and “How long would you have to run to burn off what you drank last month.”

Programming Topics

  • Why Do We Drink?
  • What is a Standard Drink?
  • High Risk Behaviors Identification
  • Pouring Demonstration
  • Alcohol 101
  • Social Norms Clarification
  • Blood Alcohol Content
  • Biphasic Effects of Alcohol
  • Drug Interactions with Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Sexual Consent
  • Strategies for Lowering Risk
  • Alcohol and Academics
  • Bar Lab Experiment
  • Alcohol and Performance
  • Cost of High Risk Alcohol Use – Financially, Academically, Physically, and Personally
  • Alcohol Induced Blackout
  • Alcohol Myopia
  • Addiction and Dependency
  • Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms and Detox
  • How to Help a Friend
  • Alcohol and Performance

How to Get Help

Oregon State University provides services depending on your needs. The up2u program at Student Health Services can provide you with information and consultation regarding alcohol and drug use. Staff of up2u can talk with you if you are concerned about a friend and are unsure about how best to help them. You may also meet with the clinical staff at Student Health Services at no charge. Counseling and Psychological Services offers free counseling for mental health and chemical-related issues. 

Please note that these services are available for OSU students only.

If you are injured or struggling with medical issues, whether or not they are related to your use of alcohol or drugs, Student Health Services is available to address your needs.

Student Health Services
319 Plageman Building

Student Health Services
Plageman Building

Counseling and Psychological Services
500 Snell Hall

If You've Scheduled an up2u Presentation

Thank you for scheduling an up2u alcohol prevention program for your classroom, organization, or group. In order to make the program a success, please have your students complete the following two items before the presentation.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Thanks and we look forward to presenting to your students.

Please complete the following items before our alcohol and drug prevention program:

1) Complete the e-CHUG online

This online program is completely anonymous and will give you information about your alcohol use. It will compare you to other OSU students and estimate how much you are spending on alcohol and how many calories you are consuming. It is very important that you complete this before the program.

e-CHUG Link:

2) Complete the customized Blood Alcohol Content card form


The presenters will bring you a customized BAC card if you complete the survey. There are only five questions on this survey and it will only take you a few minutes to complete. It is important that you do this ASAP so we have time to print your customized card prior to the program. Please complete it at least 24 hours before the program.


Curious to test your knowledge about alcohol?
Want to learn more about alcohol use?
Want feedback on your use of alcohol
compared to other Oregon State students?

Electronic Checkup to Go (e-CHUG)

What is e-CHUG?

The e-CHUG is an online survey for Oregon State University students. The e-CHUG is a brief, anonymous assessment tool that takes about 10 minutes to complete that will help you gain insight into your relationship with alcohol.

What does e-CHUG do?

When you begin the e-CHUG, you are asked to enter some demographic information and information on your personal alcohol use. Once completed, you submit the form. The information you entered is processed and your responses are compared to national and OSU norms. You are encouraged to print this for your review. The e-CHUG individualized feedback provides students with useful information on such items as:

  • Quantity and frequency of drinking, caloric intake
  • Peak Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
  • Norm comparisons
  • Income spent on alcohol
  • Tolerance levels
  • Consequences of alcohol use
  • Genetic risk score
  • Explanations and advice
  • Referral information

What do I need to use the e-CHUG?

  • A computer
  • Internet access
  • A JavaScript enabled Internet browser
  • About 8-10 minutes
  • A printer (to print the feedback)

If you find after taking the e-CHUG that you would like to discuss your results with an IMPACT staff member at Student Health Services, please call 541-737-7552 to request an appointment.

Your participation in the e-CHUG is voluntary. You may withdraw from participating at any time. Your answers on the e-CHUG are strictly confidential. Your name is not attached to the form and no individual information is kept or provided to Oregon State University.


Curious to test your knowledge about marijuana?
Want to learn more about marijuana use?
Want feedback on your use of marijuana
compared to other Oregon State students?

Electronic THC Online Knowledge Experience (e-TOKE)

What is e-TOKE?

The e-TOKE (electronic THC Online Knowledge Experience) is an interactive web survey that is a brief marijuana-specific assessment and feedback tool for Oregon State University students. It provides insight into marijuana use, using personalized information about your behaviors and risk factors. The assessment takes about 10-15 minutes and is self-guided making it quick, anonymous, and flexible to fit your free time and location.

What does e-TOKE do?

The e-TOKE first asks for basic demographic information followed by typical pattern of use, time and money patterns, health related questions, and brief sections on alcohol and cigarette use. Once all information is entered e-TOKE will provide statistics and visuals for each set of questions. This includes short written summaries as well as graphs and statistical comparisons. All results are presented in a printable, easy-to-read format using tabs at the top of the page to move from section to section. Finally, there is an additional resource tab for students who may have further questions or concerns, including contacts for campus resources.

What do I need to use the e-TOKE?

  • A computer
  • Internet access
  • A JavaScript enabled Internet browser
  • About 8-10 minutes
  • A printer (to print the feedback)

If you find after taking the e-TOKE that you would like to discuss your results with a staff member at Student Health Services, please call 541-737-7552 to request an appointment.

Your participation in the e-TOKE is voluntary. You may withdraw from participating at any time. Your answers on the e-TOKE are strictly confidential. Your name is not attached to the form and no individual information is kept or provided to Oregon State University.

Alcohol Presentations for Fraternities and Sororities

Wondering if your chapter needs a program? For an up-to-date list of alcohol presentations given to chapters, go to the Greek Chapters Outreach Spreadsheet.

In order to schedule a program for your chapter, please complete the online up2u Presentation Sign-up Form.

If you have questions, please email

Collegiate Recovery Community

~ Student Success Built on Sobriety ~
More than 23,500 combined days of sobriety

About the CRC Why CRCs Work Get Involved in CRC Become a CRC Member CRC Services and Resources

CRC Clubhouse is NOW OPEN in McNary Hall

The CRC Clubhouse is located in McNary Hall, Room 125. Access is from the north side of the building, on SW Jefferson. Entrance is a glass door by the bike racks. Look for a sign that says "Oregon State CRC Clubhouse." (You cannot access the CRC Clubhouse from within McNary Hall.)

For students interested in becoming members or learning more about the CRC, the Clubhouse will be open to the public for free coffee hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. throughout Fall Term.

>> Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

For many students leaving home for the first time, college is a place to live and learn independently. For some students, this transition involves high-risk drinking and drug use. College students between the ages of 18-25 have higher rates of substance use and abuse than any other demographic nationwide. Attitudes towards addiction and alcoholism among college students are unsupportive at best, and stigmatizing at worst. For example, a 22-year-old student was quoted as saying to one of his sober friends “You can’t say someone is an alcoholic until they leave college. Everyone drinks in college….” This quote shows the lack of understanding about addiction in general on campus. Furthermore, the college party environment is potentially dangerous for college students who have been in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. The challenge for these students is how to maintain their sobriety and success in school, and still feel as if they are a member of the college community.

Oregon State University has taken steps toward meeting the needs of students in recovery from drug or alcohol addictions. OSU launched a collegiate recovery community in the fall of 2013. Opportunities for students to engage in fun, supportive, and sober activities has been made possible by support from the OSU Beverage Partnership funded by Pepsi. In the fall of 2014, the program will expand to include a collegiate recovery community housing option in partnership with University Housing and Dining Services.

The Collegiate Recovery Community meets the needs of students in recovery by providing a private space, funding, and support for events, meetings, studying, or just hanging out with other sober friends. The community also provides funding for sober activities on and off campus. “The sober students have a tight bond, we look out for each other, we are available for our friends in recovery 24/7, no matter what,” said a student in recovery. By providing the space, funding, and resources, sober students not only support each other, but now also have the same opportunities for fun and success on a university campus as other students, in a sober environment.

What is a Collegiate Recovery Community?

A Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) provides a nurturing, affirming environment in which students recovering from addiction can find peer support as well as other recovery support services while attaining a college education. Students participating in this community have educational, academic, advisory, community building, and programmatic opportunities that support their decision to maintain their recovery as well as improve their academics and general life skills. Through this holistic approach to continuing care for recovering students, the CRC helps to provide a normative college experience for students in recovery.

About the CRC

About the CRC Why CRCs Work Get Involved in CRC Become a CRC Member CRC Services and Resources

Mission Statement

Oregon State University is committed to our students in recovery by providing engaging and understanding support. Our recovery community is rooted in the belief that no student should feel alone, that every student receives the support they need, in the way they need it, from the people that they find most comfortable. We are here to support the individual student’s efforts in their recovery, academics, and continued success.

What is the Collegiate Recovery Community?

The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) provides a nurturing, affirming environment in which students recovering from addiction can find peer support as well as other recovery support services while attaining a college education. Students participating in this community have educational, academic, advisory, community-building, and programmatic opportunities that support their decision to maintain their recovery as well as improve their academics and general life skills. Through this holistic approach to continuing care for recovering students, the CRC helps to provide a normative college experience for students in recovery.

The CRC provides the following to all its members and residents:

  • A 24/7 Clubhouse space with:
    • Recovery-oriented meetings
    • Skills meetings
    • Study space
    • Lounge
    • Kitchen and coffeemaker
  • 24/7 support from other members, as well as community staff
  • Academic advising
  • Sober events and gatherings
  • A tight-knit fellowship of sober students in recovery

What the Collegiate Recovery Community IS NOT

The CRC is NOT a treatment facility. We do not provide residential nor outpatient treatment services. We do not work with government programming such as drug court, probation, or parole. We are not a halfway house. We provide support to students at OSU who have been in recovery for a minimum of three months, and desire to continue to live sober. Please see above for a list of the services and support we do offer.

CRC Advisory Board

Upon inception in September 2012, the advisory board sought to create and implement a plan for a CRC on Oregon State’s campus. The advisory board created a vision for OSU’s Collegiate Recovery Community, to best meet the unique needs of our student body. The community was inspired by different aspects of recovery community programs at the University of Vermont, Augsberg College, Texas Tech University, and Rutgers University.

Board Members

  • Susie Brubaker-Cole – Vice Provost of Student Affairs
  • Sara Caldwell-Kan – Graduate Research Assistant at Hallie E. Ford Center
  • Sid Cooper – Associate Director, Memorial Union Building Services
  • Shelley Dubkin-Lee – Coordinator Adult Education Program, College of Education
  • Karen Elliott – Instructor/Undergraduate Internship Coordinator, College of Public Health and Human Sciences
  • Gerry Frank – UHDS Inventory and Asset Manager
  • Jim Gouveia – Counselor, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Michael Henthorne – Director, Memorial Union
  • Lisa Hoogesteger – Director, Healthy Campus Initiatives
  • Michelle Inderbitzen – Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
  • Alex Matiash – Resident Director of Cauthorn Hall, University Housing and Dining Services
  • Robert Reff – Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Student Health Services
  • Raphelle Rhoads – Coordinator of Community Conduct, Student Conduct and Community Standards
  • Larry Roper – OSU Faculty
  • John Ruyak – Collegiate Recovery Community Graduate Assistant

Grant Information

Special thanks to the Stacie Mathewson Foundation as well as the Pepsi Beverage Partnership at OSU.

Why CRCs Work

About the CRC Why CRCs Work Get Involved in CRC Become a CRC Member CRC Services and Resources

Collegiate Recovery Communities have been in existence for more than 25 years. Staff, faculty, and alumni speak of the positive impact of these programs. It is only recently that researchers have begun to quantify the effects of these programs.


Between 1994 and 2004, the number of adolescents seeking substance abuse treatment in the United States has increased by 65 percent (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, 2004) and would appear to be continuing on a similar trajectory. Consequently, there is a growing population of individuals in recovery seeking college degrees. College may be challenging for someone who has recently become abstinent from alcohol and drugs and entered recovery. In addition to the normal struggles with coursework, living away from home, relationship issues, and working on their recovery program, these students also have to contend with the college environment, which is often unofficially organized around alcohol and other drug use. (Wechsler, Davenport, Dowdall, Moeykens, & Castillo, 1994). Simply put, the college environment is not a recovery-supportive environment.

The Collegiate Recovery Community offers an alternative. It provides a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces the decision to disengage from addictive behaviors. It provides a community of peers with shared experiences, goals, and values around recovery. It offers an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure that students do not have to sacrifice one for the other. It reinforces accountability for recovering students that comes from self, peers, and higher education staff. And finally, it provides a normative college experience for individuals in recovery apart from the culture of drinking and substance use that is present on today’s campuses.


Alexandre B. Laudet received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to research CRCs and the impact on students. The data below summarizes students in 26 different recovery programs in the United States.


CRCs that participated in the study had an average length of sobriety of 16 months. The range of sobriety was between 1 month and 16.7 years. The mean percent of students relapsing was approximately 8 percent. This is impressive, given that the average relapse rate during the first year of sobriety for individuals can be as high as 90 percent, depending on the study.

Academic Success, Retention, and Graduation

Students active in CRCs demonstrate higher GPAs, better retention, and graduation rates. These students succeed in the classroom and add to the campus.

CRC GPAs and Retention Rates

Get Involved in CRC

About the CRC Why CRCs Work Get Involved in CRC Become a CRC Member CRC Services and Resources

Contact Information


Robert Reff, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
Phone: 541-737-7564

John Ruyak, Collegiate Recovery Community Graduate Assistant

How to Join

I am in recovery and interested in joining.

If you are a current or prospective student at OSU in recovery, we invite you to become a member of our community. Please see Become a Member for admissions guidelines and requirements for membership to the CRC.

I am not in recovery, but I want to get involved.

We welcome students with an interest in recovery and a desire to reduce the stigma surrounding those affected by addiction. To find out more about how you can support the CRC, please send an email to, or contact Robert Reff at, phone 541-737-7564.

Become a CRC Member

About the CRC Why CRCs Work Get Involved in CRC Become a CRC Member CRC Services and Resources


Newcomers are students who may be new to or contemplating recovery, and would like to participate in the CRC. Newcomers meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled at OSU
  • Demonstrate a strong desire to stay sober
  • Maintain sobriety at all CRC programs

Newcomers have access to the Clubhouse during open CRC events/meetings.


Members are students currently in recovery who have been sober for a minimum of 3 months. Members must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled at OSU
  • Have at least 3 months sobriety
  • Have satisfied the CRC admissions requirements (see below)
  • Follow the Membership Agreement

Benefits of membership include:

  • 24/7 access to the Clubhouse
  • Access to all CRC programming and meetings
  • Opportunity to become a mentor
  • Opportunity to participate in CRC governance/leadership
  • Opportunity to participate in resources training/become a trainer for Newcomers/Members


Residents are CRC members that wish to reside on campus in a confidential, recovery-supported living area designated for CRC members and programming. Residents must meet the same criteria as members, including completion of the membership admissions requirements (see below) in order to be considered for CRC housing.

*NOTE: The resident option will be available beginning Fall 2014. Please check back frequently for updates regarding CRC housing.

Admissions Requirements

Students interested in becoming a member and/or resident must complete the following steps as part of the CRC admissions process:

CRC Services and Resources

About the CRC Why CRCs Work Get Involved in CRC Become a CRC Member CRC Services and Resources


Involvement in the Collegiate Recovery Community provides the opportunity to take part in many recreational events and activities in addition to skill-building and other educational programs, ongoing throughout the academic year. These include weekly meetings, movie nights, camping trips, barbecues, personal/professional development seminars, Adventure Leadership retreats through the Department of Recreational Sports, and more. A unique aspect of the CRC program is the opportunity for its members to provide/ receive mentorship to/from their peers in recovery, as a source of understanding and support during the recovery process. Mentorship and fellowship are some of the most cited, most studied practices for people in recovery, and are linked to longer periods of sobriety.

The Clubhouse

The CRC Clubhouse is located in McNary Hall, Room 125. Access is from the north side of the building, on Southwest Jefferson. Entrance is a glass door by the bike racks. Look for a sign that says "Oregon State CRC Clubhouse." (You cannot access the CRC Clubhouse from within McNary Hall.)

CRC members have access to the Clubhouse to study, drink coffee, socialize, or just hang out – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also serves as a private venue in which scheduled meetings and other CRC programming are held. All members are asked to follow the Clubhouse rules (PDF).

For students interested in becoming members or learning more about the CRC, the Clubhouse will be open to the public for free coffee hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. throughout Fall Term.

The CRC Clubhouse in McNary 125 is available for recovery-supportive meetings and events. If you are interested in reserving the space, please complete the online reservation request form. All reservations are subject to the Clubhouse reservation agreement (PDF).

After you submit the form, a CRC staff member will contact you about your request.

Campus Resources

External Resources

Local Support

Other Resources

Alcohol Mixed Energy Drinks

What’s the Buzz About?

Recent hospitalizations have heightened attention concerning Alcohol Mixed Energy Drinks (AMEDs). Does this sound familiar to you? “Get It Up and Keep It Up” or “Party Like a Rockstar,” or perhaps “Party Up.”  Energy drinks are widely consumed on college campuses, with claims that Monster, Rockstar, Amp, Red Bull, Full Throttle, and among others, provide a burst of energy from caffeine and other plant-based stimulants and vitamins. Thirty-four percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are regular energy drink consumers. The drinks have been aggressively marketed on college campuses.

The alcohol industry has used the popularity of energy drinks to promote its own products, introducing premixed alcohol and energy drink products such as Sparks, Rockstar 21, Tilt and Four Loko. The alcohol companies promote mixing energy drinks with alcohol products on their edgy websites.

Who is at Risk?

More than 28 percent of college students report mixing alcohol and energy drinks. White male students, athletes, fraternity or sorority or new members, and younger students are more likely to consume AMEDs. Students who report consuming energy drinks tend to drink more than students who do not drink AMEDs (8.3 drinks vs. 6.1 drinks). Students also report not noticing the signs of intoxication (dizziness, fatigue, headache, and trouble walking) when they had consumed AMEDs.

What is the Problem?

Students who reported drinking AMEDs had an increased prevalence of alcohol-related consequences of drinking. They were more likely to be taken advantage of sexually, and twice as likely to take advantage of someone sexually. They were also more likely to ride with a drunk driver, be hurt or injured, or require medical treatment.

What You Need to Know

  • Caffeine masks the depressant effects of alcohol, often making people believe they are functioning better than they actually are.
  • Drinking AMEDs often keep a person awake longer, allowing them to drink more and/or stay up later which may increase a person’s participation in other risky behaviors.
  • Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which means you’re more likely to be dehydrated after drinking the combination... leaving you with a bad hangover.
  • Caffeine alone effects individuals differently and may cause nervousness, irritability, restlessness, nausea, fast/irregular heartbeat, muscle tremors, anxiety and headaches. Many AMEDs contain undisclosed amounts of caffeine.
  • Most AMEDs are very high calorie. Four Loko is estimated to have more than 660 calories in one can - five times the average 12-ounce beer!

What You Can Do Now

  • Educate yourself about what IS in your beverage (Percentage of alcohol? Milligrams of caffeine? High sugar content? Red dye #40?)
  • Choose not to purchase or consume Alcohol Mixed Energy Drinks.
  • Don’t be an idle bystander – intervene if you see someone who has had too much.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you are concerned about alcohol overdose/poisoning.
  • Know your limit – Check out what your Blood Alcohol Level might be after one Four Loko (one 23.5-ounce can equals approximately five standard drinks).
  • Try other harm reduction strategies that students report using at OSU.

Sources: Thombs, D., O’Mara, R., Tsukamoto, M., et al. “Event Level analyses of energy drink consumption and alcohol intoxication in bar patrons.” Addictive Behavior. 2010. 35(325-330).  (2)M. C. O’Brien et al., “Caffeinated Cocktails: Energy Drink Consumption, High-Risk Drinking, and Alcohol-Related Consequences among College Students,” Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 15 (2008): 1–8; Center for Science in the Public Interest, “Alcoholic Energy Drinks,” Alcohol Policies Project Fact Sheet (2009).

Prescription Drug Abuse

In recent years, the non-medical use of prescription drugs has become an increasing problem in the nation and specifically in the college population. The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) biennial survey reported the following statistics.

2012 OSU ACHA-NCHA Data – Prescription Drug Abuse

Percent of college students who reported using prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them within the last 12 months:

Type of Drug OSU 2012 % National 2012 %
Antidepressants 2.9 3.0
Erectile dysfunction drugs 0.5 0.9
Pain killers 12.3 7.7
Sedatives 3.6 3.8
Stimulants 12.6 8.1
Used 1 or more of the above 19.8 14.8

Prescription Drug Abuse Background

On some college campuses abuse of prescription stimulants is as high as 25 percent.1

These drugs are commonly abused because of how easily they are accessed. They can be obtained through friends and family, direct prescriptions from a physician, a prescription “drug dealer.” However, the most common source of these drugs is the medicine cabinets of the individual’s friends and family.2

Reasons for abusing prescription drugs include:1

  • Academic pressures
  • Maintaining focus with late-night study sessions
  • Dieting purposes
  • Feeling of euphoria
  • Coping with stress
  • Parties and social scenes

Risks and Harmful Effects

Mental Health3

  • Increased irritability, agitation and anger
  • Apathy and depression
  • Paranoia, delusions and hallucinations
  • Lowered threshold for violence
  • Psychological dependence

Physical Health3

  • Drastic changes in sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Stunted growth

Up to 40 percent of college students misusing prescription drugs use intranasal delivery (snorting). Many might not realize that changing the delivery method of a prescription drug can increase your risk of negative effects.4

NEVER MIX ALCOHOL WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS! This is especially true of opiates like OxyContin or Vicodin, because “this enhances the sedative effect of both substances, increasing the risk of death from overdose.”5


Student Health Services
Plageman Building

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Snell Hall, Fifth Floor

Benton County Health Department


1. McCabe, S.E., Knight, J.R., Teter, C.J., & Wechsler, H. (2005). Nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among US college students: Prevalence and correlates from a national survey. Addiction, 99, 96-106.

2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2007). Results from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National findings (Office of Applied Studies, DHHS Publication No. SMA 03– 3836, NHSDA Series H–22). Rockville, MD.

3. Rabiner, D.L., Anastopoulos, A.D., Costello, E.J., Hoyle, R.H., McCabe, S.E., & Swartzwelder, H.S. (2008). Motives and perceived consequences of nonmedical ADHD medication use by college students. Journal of Attention Disorders, 11, 689-699.

4. White, P.W., Becker-Blease, K.A., & Grace-Bishop, K. (2006). Stimulant medication use, misuse, and abuse in an undergraduate and graduate student sample. Journal of American College Health, 54, 261-268.

5. K. Michelle Peavy (MA), Patricia Maarhuis (EdM), Washington State University. Pop Culture: an innovative approach targeting prescription drug misuse in college students, January 2009.

Alcohol 101

Alcohol affects the body and the mind in many ways. One of the most potent effects of alcohol is on the brain, particularly on the frontal lobe and cognitive processes. Alcohol decreases a person's capacity for reasoning and judgment. One of the main reasons alcohol is perceived as a social lubricant has to do with this effect.

With a decrease in reasoning and judgment comes decreased feelings of awkwardness and a feeling of being more social. In addition, people may feel more at ease to approach new people, dance, or try new things. With this decrease in reasoning and judgment also comes an increase in doing and saying things we will later regret, embarrassment, engaging in risky sexual behavior (not using a condom or multiple partners), and a potential increased risk for sexual assault. In addition, we may not be able to accurately "judge" how drunk we are and may end up over-consuming, putting ourselves at increased risk for problems such as sickness and/or hangovers to more severe issues like blacking out, passing out, or even death due to alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol in the form of beer, wine, spirits, and ciders is consumed by many North Americans and by people in many other cultures around the world. Drinking has some guidelines, like eating, or any social activity, to help the participant get more enjoyment out of the activity. Gobbling down half a chocolate cake at a party would not be considered responsible eating or even polite in most cultures. The same goes for drinking. Responsible choices concerning sensible drinking may mean not drinking, such as when a person is sick, taking medications or being the designated driver. Responsible drinking means that you never have to feel sorry for what has happened while you were drinking. Basically, this means not becoming drunk. This section contains tips to help you drink responsibly and derive more enjoyment and pleasure from drinking if you choose to consume alcohol.

Responsible Alcohol Use

Responsible alcohol use can include choosing not to drink alcohol (especially if you are under the age of 21) and/or choosing to consume a moderate amount of alcohol based on your size and gender. Here are some other ways to use alcohol responsibly.

  • Know your limit. If you do not already know how much alcohol you can handle without losing control, try it out one time at home with your parents or friend present. Explain to them what you are attempting to learn. Most people find that no more than a drink an hour will keep them in control of the situation and avoid drunkenness. Have your parents or fried videotape you while you are attempting to see what happens when you consume more than the recommended one drink per hour.
  • Eat food while you drink. It is particularly good to eat high protein foods such as cheese and peanuts, which help to slow the absorption of alcohol into the circulatory system. Many cultures consume alcohol only with food to prevent various problems.
  • Sip your drink. If you gulp a drink for the effect, you are losing a pleasure of drinking, namely tasting and smelling the various flavors. This is particularly true for wine. It takes approximately 20 minutes to feel one drink.
  • Accept a drink only when you really want one. At a party if someone is trying to force another drink on you, ask for ice or drink a non-alcoholic beverage. Keep count of the amount of drinks you've drank.
  • Cultivate taste. Choose quality rather than quantity. Learn the names of fine wines, whiskeys, and beers. Learn what beverage goes with what foods.
  • Skip a drink now and then. When at a party, have a nonalcoholic drink between the alcoholic one to keep your blood alcohol concentration down. Space your alcoholic drinks out to keep the desired blood alcohol concentration. Have one “drink” per hour (two at the most). Know that all drinks are not created equal. For example, a Long Island Iced Tea may have as many as 3 to 7 shots of alcohol, which can take as long as 2 to 6 hours to metabolize!
  • Alcohol and sex don't mix. The mixture can lead to humiliation, regret, embarrassment, STDs, ore even pregnancy and sexual assault.
  • Don’t take a drink from someone you do not trust with your life, literally. You never know what they have put in your drink, whether it is an extra shot or two of alcohol or something worse, like GHB or “rohypnol.” Also, beware of unfamiliar drinks, such drinks as zombies and other fruit and rum drinks can be deceiving, as the alcohol is not always detectable, and it is difficult to space them out.
  • Drink with people you know and trust. Make sure that drinking improves social relationships rather than impairing them. Alcohol can affect someone’s mood and personality. Serve alcohol as an adjunct to an activity rather than as the primary focus.
  • Don't drink and drive. Plan ahead for transportation; Use a designated driver, the Beaver Bus, or call a taxi. Have someone available who will not be drinking and will drive all drinkers home. Law enforcement on and surrounding the OSU campus is very strict when it comes to drinking and driving.
  • Don't mix alcohol with other drugs. Drug interactions can have fatal consequences. Use alcohol carefully in connection with other drugs. This includes over-the-counter drugs such as energy drinks, sleeping pills and cold or cough medicines. Alcohol should be avoided while taking certain antibiotics, arthritic, anti-depressant, and many other prescription medications. Check with your physician or pharmacy before you drink while on any prescription drug. Using alcohol in combination with legal and/or illegal drugs can have varied effects based on synergistic tendencies.
  • Respect the rights of individuals who do not wish to drink. It is considered impolite to attempt to get people to drink who do not wish to. They may abstain for religious or medical reasons, because they are recovering alcoholics, or they just may not like the taste and effect it has on them.
  • Avoid drinking mixed drinks on an empty stomach on a hot day. This might produce hypoglycemia, which can cause dizziness, weakness, and mood change.
  • Pair drinking with dining. If you know that you will have to drive after consuming alcohol, limit your consumption to no more than one drink an hour with your meal. This allows time for the alcohol to be burned up and for it to be absorbed slowly into the circulatory system. Consuming no more than one glass of wine, beer or mixed drink with a meal in a hour is generally safe for driving.
  • Pregnant or think you might be? Alcohol goes straight from a mother's bloodstream to the unborn baby causing birth defects and other abnormalities.

Blood Alcohol Level (BAL)

A person's blood alcohol level (BAL) - also referred to as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) - indicates the amount of alcohol in their system. There are four factors that are the most important in determining how alcohol affects you or your friends. Understanding these factors can help you stay safe as well as help you understand how intoxicated a friend may be.

1. Gender

Women are affected by alcohol more so than men. Generally, women are smaller, have a higher percentage of body fat, and have less of the enzyme in their body that breaks down alcohol.

2. Weight

Given similar amounts of alcohol consumed, smaller people get more intoxicated than bigger people. However, your body fat percentage plays a role. The higher your body fat percentage, the more you will be affected by alcohol.

3. Drinking Rate

How fast you drink can greatly influence the effect of alcohol on your system. Think of your body like a funnel, no matter how fast you pour liquid into the funnel, it will only come out the bottom at a certain rate. If you pour too much, the funnel (your body) can overflow (alcohol poisoning). On average, it takes roughly 20 minutes for alcohol to get into your system once you drink it. It takes roughly 45-60 minutes for each standard drink to be removed from your body.

4. Quantity

The following all contain the same amount (0.5 ounce) of pure ethyl alcohol and are considered a standard drink:

  • 12 oz. standard beer
  • 10 oz. of most microbrews
  • 8 oz. malt liquor
  • 4-5 oz. table wine
  • 2.5 oz. of fortified wine (i.e. Mad Dog)
  • 1.25 oz. of 80 proof hard liquor
  • 1.0 oz. of 100 proof hard liquor
  • .75 oz. of 151 proof hard liquor (i.e. Bacardi 151)
  • .50 oz. of 180 proof hard liquor (i.e. Everclear)


BAL Chart

If you drink, keep to the ORANGE level

.02 - .03 BAL: Slight euphoria and loss of shyness, minimal loss of coordination, decreased reaction time.
.04 - .06 BAL: Relaxation, lower inhibitions, some impairment of reasoning and memory, lowering of awareness.

Be careful of the BLUE level

.07 - .09 BAL: Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, judgment and self-control.
.10 - .12 BAL: Significant impairment of motor coordination, judgment, balance, vision, hearing and
slurred speech.
.13 - .15 BAL: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control, blurred vision, loss of balance, anxiety,
perception is severely impaired.
.16 - .19 BAL: Nausea and more anxiety, appears as a “sloppy drunk.”

Keep out of the RED level

.20 BAL: Disoriented, needs help to stand or walk, nausea and vomiting, black out is possible.
.21 - .29 BAL: Mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired, risk serious injury.
.30 - .34 BAL: Stupor, may pass out, hard to awaken.
.35+ BAL: Coma and/ or death is possible.

The Drink Wheel

On-Line BAC Calculator
About Disclaimer

 I have had

over a period of hour(s)2. 

 I am Male Female (Explanation of gender differences in Blood Alcohol Concentration) 

 and I weigh Pounds Kilograms 

 and I live in

(so that the result is displayed in the appropriate units). 


About the Drink Wheel 

 The Intoximeters Inc. "Drink Wheel"1 is a form that you can fill out. Upon completion we will instantly compute your estimated blood/breath alcohol concentration ("BAC") based on the information that you have provided and return that estimate to you. It is presented as a public service to Intoximeters web site visitors. Its primary purpose is to provide useful information about the responsible use of alcohol. 

 Why is it called a "Drink Wheel"? 

 We call it the "Drink Wheel" because it is based on various paper and cardboard BAC calculators that are given out in alcohol awareness programs, some of which are in the form of a wheel that you can spin around to calculate your estimated BAC based on what and how much you have had to drink. 


 It would be extremely foolish for us to pretend that our "Drink Wheel" can tell you what your BAC actually is, first because it would open us up to an incredible amount of potential liability and second if it really did work accurately there would be no need for anyone to buy the instruments that we make and sell. 

 A person's actual BAC is dependent on many complex factors, including their physical condition (body composition, health etc...) and what they have recently ingested (including food, water, medications and other drugs). This site includes a more detailed discussion of the Pharmacology and Disposition of alcohol in humans. 

 The results that are generated are rough estimates of an average healthy person's BAC assuming typical beverage sizes, recipes and alcohol content. The BAC estimates generated by the Drink Wheel should not be used to infer anyone's fitness to work, drive or perform any other task or duty. 

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person drinks enough alcohol to cause the central nervous system to dramatically slow down. Breathing and heart rate become slower and slower, the person loses consciousness and may slip into a coma and die. Alcohol poisoning is most likely to happen when someone drinks a large amount of alcohol very quickly. Because the liver can only process one drink per hour, a person's BAC can continue to rise for several hours reaching a potentially deadly level.

Remember CUSP


C - Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
U - Unconscious (the person is semi-conscious or unconscious)
S - Slowed breathing (eight or fewer breaths per minute; eight or more seconds between breaths)
P - Pale


  • Call Emergency Medical Services (911 or 9-911 on campus) immediately
  • Clear the person's airway
  • Put the person on his/her side (prop up with pillows)
  • Stay with the person until EMS takes over

Acute alcohol poisoning is an emergency. Make the call! Too much alcohol will kill a person. Never leave an intoxicated person alone.

What is the difference between a blackout and passing out?

"Blackouts" (alcohol-related memory loss) have occurred when a person has no memory of what happened while intoxicated. These periods may last from a few minutes to several hours. During a blackout, someone may appear fine to others; however, the next day s/he cannot remember parts of the night and what s/he did. The person having a blackout does not know it. The cause of blackouts is not well understood but may involve interference in short-term memory storage. Blackouts shouldn't be confused with "passing out," which happens when people lose consciousness from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Losing consciousness means that a person has reached a very dangerous level of intoxication, could slip into a coma and could die. If someone has passed out and is nonresponsive, call EMS immediately (911). S/he needs immediate medical attention.

Alcohol Myths

There are many little known facts and many known myths about alcohol and its consumption.
Some of the myths include:

The worst thing that can happen is that I’ll pass out and have a hangover tomorrow.

The fact is that death can and does occur from drinking too much alcohol. This is known as alcohol poisoning or acute alcohol intoxication and occurs when the level of alcohol in the body acts as a poison, causing death from the drug overdose. Another way that alcohol can cause death is due to alcohol-related accidents, such as drunken driving, falls, and suicide.

People pass out from drinking all the time. It’s nothing to worry about.

The fact is that you pass out due to the body’s inability to tolerate the amount of alcohol that you have put into it. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that works to slow down the heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and slow your breathing rate. Once your brain has been depressed enough by the alcohol, you pass out. The amount of alcohol it takes to make you pass out is dangerously close to the amount of alcohol it takes to make you dead!

The best thing to do for someone who is drunk is to put them to bed and let them sleep it off.

Although this is partly true, the fact is that an intoxicated person is helpless and must be cared for. DO NOT LEAVE A DRUNK (INTOXICATED) PERSON ALONE! Stay with the person, check their breathing, check their skin temperature, and frequently try to wake them.

If my friend passed out, I wouldn’t call for help. I couldn’t live with myself if I got them in trouble.

The fact is that if you don’t call for help, your friend may not live to be mad at you. When someone passes out from drinking too much, they are unconscious and have consumed too much alcohol. This person is suffering from alcohol poisoning and needs medical attention.

The best cure for a hangover is …

Everybody has a favorite, but they all have one thing in common – they don’t work! Alleged methods for sobering up range from hot coffee to cold showers, from fresh air to food. The only effect these treatments can have is to produce a wide-awake drunk. An awakened drunk, feeling sobered up, may attempt to perform tasks such as driving, of which he/she is no more capable than the sleepy drunk is. Time is the only method of sobering up. There is no way to increase the oxidation rate – the rate at which the body naturally eliminates alcohol. What else works? Preventive medicine. If you don’t drink too much, you won’t get a hangover

People who drink too much only hurt themselves.

Drinkers hurt and endanger themselves, but they also endanger family, friends, employers, and strangers in the community.

“What a man! He’s still on his feet after a whole fifth.”

When we stop thinking of “it’s manly to drink too much,” we have begun to grow up. It’s no more impressive to over-drink than it is to over-eat. People who are able to out-drink others are often developing a tolerance for alcohol and become dependent on it.

Getting drunk is funny.

Maybe it’s funny in the movies or in jokes, but not in real life. Drunkenness is no funnier than any other illness.

If the parents don’t drink, the children won’t drink.

But the highest incident of alcoholism occurs among offspring of parents who are either non-drinkers or alcoholics. Perhaps the “extremism” of the parents’ attitudes is an important factor.

Alcohol warms the body.

Alcohol makes the drinker feel warmer because it causes blood to rise to the skin’s surface. However, when this happens, the body temperature is actually lowered because the surface heat is lost.

Mixing drinks causes greater intoxication.

Only the consumption of ethyl alcohol, the ingredient common to all alcoholic beverages, causes intoxication, not the mixing of drinks. A person may tend to consume more when there is a variety of drinks, but it is still only the total amount of ethyl alcohol that counts.

Alcohol is a stimulant.

Alcohol is not a stimulant. While in small quantities it may be initially stimulating or cause uninhibited behavior, it is actually a depressant. The first area of the brain alcohol affects is the area which regulates inhibitions, judgment, and self-control. It is the lack of such restraints that causes the apparently “stimulated” or uninhibited behavior and people may do things they might not otherwise do.

Party Hosting

Most people love to go to parties, and most find that parties are fun to give. The following tips for being a responsible host will give more pleasure to you and your guests.

  • Plan people movement. Make sure that people can move around and meet each other. If it means putting the sofa in a corner, do so.
  • The bartender. If you plan to have a friend act as "bartender," make sure that he or she is not an eager pusher who uses the role to put an extra shot in everyone's glass or keep filling up half empty cups with more beer.
  • Pace the drinks. Serve drinks at regular, reasonable intervals. A drink-an-hour schedule usually means that good company prevails and you can avoid intoxication. Use small cups for beer drawn out of kegs rather than large ones.
  • Don't double up. Many mature and wise people count and pace their drinks. If you serve doubles, they will be drinking twice as much as they planned. Doubling up is considered rude.
  • Push the quality snacks. Make sure that people are eating along with drinking. Have plenty of high quality snacks such as cheese, meats, nuts, etc.
  • Don't push the drinks. Let the glass be empty before you offer a refill.
  • Include non-alcoholic beverages. Remember that many people do not drink and may be on medications or recovering alcoholics. Make sure that you have non-alcoholic drinks such as good quality soft drinks, pop, water and juice. Non-alcoholic wine is great for a formal dinner.
  • Closing the party. Decide, in advance, when you want your party to end. At this time, stop serving alcohol and serve coffee and a substantial snack. This provides some non-drinking time before your guests drive home. Coffee does not “sober up” intoxicated people and neither do cold showers. All you get is a “wide awake and freezing drunk.”
  • Don't allow intoxicated guests to drive home. If you find that one of your friends has consumed too much alcohol, let them sleep at your house, have someone else drive them home, or call a taxi.

If you do chose to drink, please do so in a responsible, safe, sensible, and healthy way. If the police come to your door because of a noise or other complaint, they will ask for you (the party host/resident of the home.) Think about how you want to represent yourself.

Adapted from Engs, R.C. Alcohol and Other Drugs: Self Responsibility. Tichenor Publishing Company, Bloomington, IN, 1987

Concerned About a Friend?

Do you think your friend’s alcohol or drug use is becoming an issue? Are they skipping classes, not turning in assignments, behaving erratically, or becoming withdrawn? As a friend you have the power to help. You have built a trusting relationship, and they look to you for advice and information. You can be a resource for them. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Instead you may be unwittingly offering your silent approval of their behavior.

Feel free to call us to get advice on how to deal with the situation:

Robert Reff
Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
OSU Student Health Services
Phone: 541-737-7564


IMPACT is a program designed for OSU students to engage in a focused and meaningful discussion about alcohol or other substance use.

IMPACT programs are made available to all students, including those students who have been sanctioned by the Residence Hall system, Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, Corvallis Municipal Court, the Benton County Circuit Court, the City Attorney’s Office, or other off-campus referral sources.

Overall, the IMPACT program is guided by the mission of Oregon State University and is committed to stimulating a lasting attitude of inquiry, openness, and social responsibility. The IMPACT program offers multiple levels of intervention for students as based on their need and reason for referral.

IMPACT for ALCOHOL consists of the following steps:

  1. Log into the system by going to This will generate an email to your ONID ID so you can complete step #2.
  2. Complete registration survey and schedule class (takes approximately 30-45 minutes).
  3. Attend Session #1 (2 hours). You will receive payment forms at this time.
  4. Pay the $118 fee for IMPACT via your student account OR, if by cash, check, credit/debit, you must go to the Billing Department in Room 110, Plageman Student Health Center, prior to your second class and pay for IMPACT. If you do not pay with your student account, you MUST bring a receipt to the second (final) class or you will not be able to take the class.
  5. Attend Session #2 (2 hours) exactly one week later at the same time and place as Session #1. (If the second class falls on a holiday week, you will receive information on the date and time of the second class.)
  6. Upon completion, notify the person who sent you (IMPACT staff will do this).
  7. Take the 60-day follow-up survey.

NOTE: You must use your ONID email for correspondence with IMPACT staff. Failure to use your ONID email may result in IMPACT staff not receiving your email.

IMPACT for MARIJUANA consists of the following steps:

  1. Log into the system by going to This will generate an email to your ONID ID so you can complete step #2.
  2. Complete registration survey.
  3. Upon completion of the survey, you will be able to sign up for one of the IMPACT One-On-One classes listed on the BASICS calendar.
  4. You will receive an email with a time, date, and location for your 60-minute session.
  5. After the session, you must pay the $118 fee for IMPACT via your student account OR, if by cash, check, credit/debit, go to the Billing Department in Room 110, Plageman Student Health Center, to pay. If you do not pay with your student account, you MUST bring a receipt of payment back to your IMPACT provider; you will not be marked as complete until we receive your receipt.
  6. After attending the session, and making the payment, you will receive a completion certificate.
  7. Take the 60-day follow-up survey.

Outreach and Consultation

Educational outreach is a cornerstone of early intervention practices at OSU. Multiple offices engage in outreach activities that are instrumental in reducing the burden of excessive and underage alcohol use.

  • Need materials to help educate campus audiences about alcohol and other drugs?
  • Want to schedule a training or presentation for your class, Student group, Greek chapter, residence hall or other group?
  • Trying to find a guest lecturer for a class or community group?
  • Need to make a referral for substance abuse treatment or counseling and don’t know where to turn?
  • Want to learn more about substance use and prevention efforts?
  • To request an alcohol- or other drug-related educational session, please use the Health Promotion Program Request Form.

Outreach Presentations

  • A Condom for Your Beer: A Brief Alcohol Skills Training Program
  • A Predator’s Cocktail: Understanding Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
  • Abstinence to Addiction: Understanding the Continuum of Use
  • Marijuana 101
  • Bystander Prevention: How Do I Make a Difference on Campus?
  • Prevention: Theory and Practice

... Or let us design one for your group!

Alcohol and the Law

Be aware and knowledgeable about the law and your rights under the law. To bring awareness to these important issues, we have put together a list of resources and information that can be accessed via the links below which will provide answers to commonly asked questions regarding alcohol and student rights under Oregon law. This is a place to start for information. It is provided as a courtesy, not as legal advice. Please go directly to the referenced Web sites for the most current information. Knowledge is prevention!

From the Oregon Liquor Control Commission:

Oregon law prohibits anyone, except a parent or legal guardian, to provide alcohol to a minor or juvenile. A minor is any person under the age of 21 and a juvenile is any person under the age of 18. Parents or guardians may legally provide alcohol only to their minor child in a private residence when accompanying their child. A parent cannot transfer this responsibility to another adult or to a public place. If you allow your property and/or home to be used for a party where minors consume alcohol, other than your children in your presence, you may have to forfeit property and may be issued a citation to circuit court.

From Corvallis Police Department:

The Corvallis Police Department welcomes you to the community. Over the past several years, strong partnerships have been formed between many agencies and organizations in order to provide a safe, positive living environment for students and community members.

From ASOSU Legal Advocacy:

This information pertains to student rights when dealing with the authorities. This information was provided by the ASOSU Office of Legal Advocacy.

Alcohol and Other Drug Work/Advisory Group


The high-risk use of alcohol and other drugs at Oregon State University has a direct impact on the ability of our students to be academically and personally successful.  Based on data from our 2012 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), OSU students are engaging in greater rates of high-risk drinking (45 percent) versus the national average (34 percent).

As a land grant university with an access mission, with a focus on increasing persistence, retention, and graduation rates, and with an eye to contributing to initiatives to support our students’ ability to successfully navigate the OSU collegiate environment, we recognize how high-risk alcohol and drug use can undermine those goals and impede the ability of all students to be successful.  We believe that students, faculty, staff, and community members actively utilizing research-based practices will result in the reduction of high-risk alcohol and drug use and subsequently increase the ability of our students to be healthier, more engaged, and more successful in school, life, and future careers.


The Alcohol and Other Drugs Work/Advisory Group (AODWAG) strives to improve the health, safety, and academic success of Oregon State University students by fostering an environment that encourages healthy decision making regarding alcohol and other drug use through student centric, data driven practices.


Membership on the AODWAG will consist of two groups, the Core Team and the Stakeholders Team.


Robert C. Reff, Ph.D.
Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
Student Health Services

Jill Childress
Student Conduct and Community Standards
University Housing and Dining Services

Core Team (meets regularly)

In order to advance the mission of the AODWAG, the membership needs to be small and consist of individuals whose positions on campus relate to the prevention of harmful alcohol and drug use on our campus. Core Team will meet monthly throughout the year to carry out the essential functions of the AODWAG.  Members of the Core Team will represent the following departments:

  • Athletics
  • Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Community Outreach (when hired)
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Oregon State Police
  • Student Conduct and Community Standards
  • Student Health Services
  • University Housing and Dining Services

Stakeholders Team (meets twice annually)

The AODWAG takes an environmental approach to preventing harmful use of alcohol and other drugs.  It is essential to have broad stakeholders input, data sharing, and goal setting for this work to be successful.  The Stakeholders Team and Core Team will meet twice an academic year.  The Stakeholders Team consists of individuals from the following offices (this is a non-exhaustive list):

  • Benton County
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Corvallis Police Department
  • Corvallis Fire Department
  • Office of the Dean of Student Life
  • Healthy Campus Initiatives
  • Human Services Resource Center
  • Athletics
  • Will Bauscher – EMT
  • Interfraternity Council
  • Panhellenic Council
  • Memorial Union
  • The Office of Student Affairs Research and Evaluation
  • Associate Provost for Academic Success and Engagement
  • Office of Equity and Inclusion
  • Others to be determined as needed/identified

Contact for the Core Team

For Faculty and Staff

Educational outreach is a cornerstone of early intervention practices at OSU. Multiple offices engage in outreach activities that are instrumental in reducing the burden of excessive and underage alcohol use.

  • Need materials to help educate campus audiences about alcohol and other drugs?
  • Want to schedule a training or presentation for your class, Student group, Greek chapter, residence hall or other group?
  • Trying to find a guest lecturer for a class or community group?
  • Need to make a referral for substance abuse treatment or counseling and don’t know where to turn?
  • Want to learn more about substance use and prevention efforts?
  • To request an alcohol- or other drug-related educational session, please use the Health Promotion Program Request Form.

Outreach Presentations

  • A Condom for Your Beer: A Brief Alcohol Skills Training Program
  • A Predator’s Cocktail: Understanding Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
  • Abstinence to Addiction: Understanding the Continuum of Use
  • Marijuana 101
  • Bystander Prevention: How Do I Make a Difference on Campus?
  • Prevention: Theory and Practice

... Or let us design one for your group!

Are You Concerned...

...About Your Own Use or That of a Family Member?

Employees are encouraged to seek assistance for controlled substance dependency problems through the University Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Evaluation, counseling and referral services are available to employees through this program, and assistance is provided on a confidential basis. The health benefits packages available to all university employees provide at least partial reimbursement for treatment and rehabilitation associated with substance abuse. Each new employee is invited to an orientation in which the EAP and health benefits provisions are discussed.

...About a Student?

  • Is a student in your class or department?
  • Missing classes
  • Not turning in assignments
  • Late for work
  • “Checked out” or preoccupied
  • Having mood swings
  • Displaying erratic or different behavior than usual

They may have a substance abuse or mental health issue that is impairing their ability to learn.
As a caring adult you have the power to help a student who is struggling in the academic and personal realms. Students look to you for advice and information. You can be a resource for them. Feel free to call us to consult:

Student Health Services – Health Promotion Department
Robert Reff
Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
OSU Student Health Services
Phone: 541-737-7564

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Snell Hall Fifth Floor
Phone: 541-737-2131

For Parents

What’s the truth about college drinking? At Oregon State most students drink moderately, if they choose to drink at all; It's an important message being shared through Oregon State’s social norms projects.

But glamorized college drinking stories persist, passed on from older peers, parents and society. Students come to believe high-risk drinking is the norm and that alcohol abuse is tolerated, leading to higher levels of drinking as they try to live up to falsehoods. For those who occasionally or routinely engage in heavy episodic drinking (five drinks in a row for men; four in a row for women), the consequences are real. They include:

  • Missed classes
  • Poor academic performance
  • Injuries
  • Regretted actions
  • Unplanned or unprotected sexual activity
  • Hangovers
  • Arguments
  • Vandalism
  • Violence

What You Can Do

  • Know Oregon State’s alcohol and drug policies, including the Code of Student Conduct and discuss your expectations with your student.
  • Ask questions about their alcohol/other drug use use.
  • Let them know about OSU’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program and the confidential assessments we offer.
  • Remind them that, on average, GPA goes down as drinking goes up.
  • Set high academic standards, including Friday classes. Students tend to drink more if they have a three- or four-day weekend.
  • Encourage involvement. Too much free time can lead to boredom and drinking can become a hobby.
  • Don’t buy alcohol for your student or send them to school with it.
  • Visit their dorm room/apartment and check out their surroundings.
  • Avoid glamorizing your own drinking.
  • Keep a list of resources to on- and off-campus resources to share, if needed.

OSU Drinking Statistics


OSU has had a long commitment to gathering health behavior data related to alcohol and other drug use and its consequences. Currently, there are no broad-based screenings done for employees to determine the level of use by these groups. Since 2000 Student Health Services has participated biennially in the National College Health Assessment (NCHA, revised in 2010 to become NCHAII). During Spring Term 2012 the NCHAII was administered and data are available from that survey. The overall student response rate for the NCHAII at OSU was 90.5% with 1147 respondents. OSU data from the previous survey are shown for comparison. The NCHA allows for reporting estimated number of drinks consumed by OSU students and an estimate of the blood alcohol level (BAL) that students obtained as compared to national averages.


Table 1. 2012 ACHA-NCHA Data for Frequency

Frequency of Use OSU 2010 (%)
OSU 2012 (%) National 2012 (%)
Never used alcohol 20.2 17.3 21.0
Used, but not in the last 30 days 12.1 11.3 14.1
30 day prevalence (1-9 times) 45.9 46.5 50.5
30 day prevalence (10+ days) 19.8
24.9 14.5


Table 2. 2012 ACHA-NCHA Data for BAL Measures

Variable (excludes non-drinkers) OSU 2010
OSU 2012 National 2012
Avg. # of drinks “last time partied” - men 6.96 7.01 6.50
Avg. # of drinks “last time partied” - women 4.44
4.92 4.24
Avg. # of drinks “last time partied” - total
6.00 5.02
Blood Alcohol Level - men 0.08
0.08 0.08
Blood Alcohol Level - women 0.08 0.10 0.07
Blood Alcohol Level - total
0.08 0.09 0.08


Table 3. 2012 OSU NCHA Data - Frequency Use/Negative Consequences

Frequency of Negative Consequences (students who drank alcohol in the last 12 months; non-drinkers excluded from analysis)

OSU 2010 (%)
OSU 2012 (%) National 2012 (%)
Doing something later regretted 39.0 43.8 37.7
Forgetting where they were/what done (black-out) 38.9 42.8 34.0
Physically injured yourself
21.5 20.9 16.7
Unprotected sex 20.0
25.2 20.3
Physically injured another person 3.9
3.6 2.5
Someone had sex with you without getting your consent 3.0
2.8 2.0
Had sex with someone without getting their consent 0.6 1.1 0.6
Got in trouble with the police 4.6 7.1 3.9
Seriously considered suicide 2.0 2.2 2.2


Besides understanding negative consequences, it is important to determine the level at which OSU students are engaging in behaviors that may reduce or limit the risk/harm that can come from excessive alcohol use. Information on harm-reduction behaviors is presented (Table 4) as a way to determine areas where more education could occur and to determine if our students have used any means of protecting themselves from possible alcohol related harm.

Table 4. 2012 OSU NCHA Data - Harm Reduction Behaviors

Behavior (non-drinkers excluded)

OSU 2010 (%)
OSU 2012 (%) National 2012 (%)
Alternate non-alcoholic with alcoholic beverages 25.8 26.4 29.6
Determine in advance not to exceed a set number of drinks 34.1 32.3 39.4
Choose not to drink alcohol 21.2 18.8 25.0
Use a designated driver 83.1 77.6 84.6
Eat before and/or during drinking 76.2 76.8 78.6
Have a friend let you know when you have had enough 31.0 32.8 38.0
Keep track of how many drinks being consumed 61.0 56.0 65.4
Pace drinks to one or fewer an hour 22.0 21.8 29.0
Avoid drinking games 29.4 22.5 35.1
Stay with same group of friends the entire time drinking
81.8 78.1 84.5
Stick with only one kind of alcohol when drinking 42.3 38.9 48.0
Reported one or more of the above strategies 96.4 95.5 97.6

More than 95 percent of OSU students who drink report using at least one harm reduction strategy to stay safer if they choose to drink.

Alcohol Resources

For more information about making safer decisions about drinking alcohol:

On-Campus Resources

Student Health Services
Health Promotion Department
Robert Reff, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator
Phone: 541-737-7564

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Fifth Floor, Snell Hall
Phone: 541-737-2131

Off-Campus Resources



Alcohol and Drug Helpline


Alcoholics Anonymous
Sweet Home   

(Linn and Benton counties)




  • Outpatient
  • Intensive outpatient


Benton County Mental Health


Discovery Counseling - 975 NW Spruce Street

  • Outpatient
  • Intensive outpatient



  • Outpatient
  • Inpatient/residential treatment
    • Boys and girls (under age 18)
    • Adult women only



Serenity Lane

  • Outpatient/intensive outpatient
  • DUI counseling



  • Outpatient
  • Intensive outpatient


JEFFERSON (south of Salem)

Pacific Ridge

  • Adult and adolescent residential treatment
  • Relapse prevention


Internet Resources

Beaver Strides

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It doesn’t matter whether you are just getting started on improving your physical fitness or are well on your way to being an active Beaver Strider; we have a program for you! All OSU students, faculty and staff are invited to participate. There are several options to choose from:

Solo Strider Six-Week Program

Solo Strider is our individualized, self-directed program which focuses on setting achievable fitness goals through the use of a pedometer to keep track of daily step counts. Solo Strider's six-week program includes an initial week of determining your baseline step count followed by incremental increases in steps and physical activity for the remaining five weeks. Joining Solo Strider is very easy… online registration is the first three weeks of every term. The program begins the fourth Monday of the term and lasts for the next six weeks. The program is free for students; cost for faculty/staff is $20.

Solo Strider 10-Week Program (Faculty/Staff Only)

The 10-week Solo Strider program is specifically for faculty and staff who are participating in PEBB Exercise Rewards. Like the six-week program, the 10-week program uses a pedometer to keep track of daily step counts. The program begins the first Monday of the term and lasts for the next 10 weeks. The cost for faculty/staff is $20. Participants can register online.

Group Step Challenges

Group Step Challenges are for those looking to add a little healthy competition to their fitness routine. Participants join teams organized through their clubs, organizations, departments, residence halls, classes or other groups. Each participant receives a pedometer and teams compete against one another over the course of two weeks to see who can log the most steps. Winners receive prizes at the end of the competition. If you are interested in setting up a Group Step Challenge for you and your closest friends or competitors please contact

Move It Mondays

Move It Mondays is a group walk that takes place every Monday during the academic year (excluding holidays), rain or shine! We meet at 12:00 p.m. near the east entrance of Student Health Services (Plageman Building) and walk for 45 minutes on various routes near campus. All walking speeds and abilities are welcome! This is a great time to get some fresh air, conduct a “walking meeting,” or just get away from your desk chair for an hour.

A few words from our participants:

Beaver Buddy

Looking for someone to walk with? Come fill out a Beaver Buddy card at Dixon and we will try to pair you up with someone who loves long walks on the beach just like you! (Well, perhaps they’ll at least share your pace and have the same free time available to go for walks!)

Questions or Comments?


Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made to

Sign Up for Beaver Strides


To sign up for Fall Term 2014 Beaver Strides, please follow these steps:




Complete the online Beaver Strides Solo Strider Pre-Test. After you have completed the pre-test, please go to Step 2.


Download, print, complete and sign the Liability Waiver (PDF), which you will turn in as directed on the registration form. Go to Step 3.


Complete the online registration form.


Complete the online Pre-Exercise Health Assessment. Optional, but highly recommended to complete before participation.

The Fall Term 2014 Kick-Off Open House for the six-week program will be Friday, Oct. 17, at Student Health, Plageman Room 322. Participants in the six-week program can arrive any time between 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. to pick up their pedometers and tracking booklets, view presentations and enjoy free healthy snacks.

Beaver Strides Registration Form

Please complete this online Registration Form after you have finished the online Pre-Test. There is no charge for OSU students. Cost for faculty and staff is $20. Please pay with cash or check at SHS @ Dixon; or Student Health Billing Office, 110 Plageman Building.

ALL PARTICIPANTS must also complete and sign the Liability Waiver available on the main sign-up page and turn it in at any of the locations listed above. Turn in your waiver (and payment, if applicable) no later than Oct. 20, 2014.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made to

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Group Step Challenges

Group Step Challenges are for those looking to add a little healthy competition to their fitness routine. Participants join teams organized through their clubs, departments, residence halls, classes or other groups. Each participant receives a pedometer and teams compete against one another over the course of two weeks to see who can log the most steps. Winners receive prizes at the end of the competition.

Group challenges run Weeks 5-6 and Weeks 7-8 of each term. 

Here’s what you need:

1) Minimum of 10 participants

  • Option 1: Have two or more teams of at least 10 people compete against each other.  Teams can be from within your own organization, or can be multiple organizations competing against each other!
  • Option 2: Everyone for themselves! Each person participating would compete against one another for the top spot.

2) A designated team captain for each team, or group of participants.

Team captains are in charge of:

  • Submitting team rosters, or individuals participating
  • Attending a brief orientation to learn how to participate, where they will also pick up pedometers and other program material for their teams/participants.
  • Serving as the contact liaison between the teams/participants and the Beaver Strides staff.
  • Relaying any pertinent info to team members from Beaver Strides staff.
  • Collecting and submitting team steps three times over the course of the two-week challenge.
  • Tracking teams/participants progress on the chart provided so all can see everyone’s progress!

Submit the group step challenge online request form below, a minimum of two weeks prior to challenge start date.

Challenges are run from a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive an email confirmation once your request has been approved.

Group Step Challenge Online Request Form

For example, West Dining Services, Student Sustainability Club, etc.

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Getting Started

Ready to Get Your Move On?

To become an official Beaver Strider and join the six-week Solo Strider program, you’ll need to register online.

Plan on attending the Kick-Off Party during the third week of each term. There you can pick up your pedometer (first 150 new Beaver Strides registrants) and tracking booklet. The program is FREE for students, faculty and staff.

Be sure to also stop by Dixon Recreation Center and check out the Beaver Buddy program. See some of the great prizes you are eligible to win if you accomplish your fitness goals during your program.

Once you are registered, you will be added to the Beaver Strides Blackboard Organization. It offers links to helpful information, physical activity guidelines, motivational ideas, and things to help you "get your move on." You will also receive weekly emails updating you on fitness tips, providing campus resource links, healthy recipes, and motivational quotes.

Have questions? Email

The Benefits of Regular Striding

The following is a list of the "ABC’s of Regular Striding" or the "Top 26 Reasons to Get Your Move On!"

  1. Appetite reduction
  2. Burns calories
  3. Cancer risk reduction - especially colon, breast, and several others
  4. Decreases anxiety and tension
  5. Enhances stamina and energy
  6. Free and fun! All you need is a pair of shoes and a place to walk
  7. Good cholesterol (HDLs) goes up and bad cholesterol (LDLs) goes down
  8. Heart attack risk goes down
  9. Improves muscle tone
  10. Joints get more flexible and walking is easier on joints than running
  11. Keeps your waistline slim and trim
  12. Lowers blood pressure
  13. Maintains cognitive function and helps mental awareness
  14. New places - You can explore new places and paths on foot and vary your routes each day
  15. Osteoporosis (bone density loss) is decreased
  16. Pace - You can walk as fast or slow as you are able and you can increase your pace as you get healthier
  17. Quick - You can go for many walks throughout the day in 10 minute stints
  18. Reduces blood pressure
  19. Slims your waist
  20. Treats depression and helps with symptoms
  21. Umbrellas make walking a year-round activity in our often wet-winter climate
  22. Variety - In addition to walking, adding other fitness activities to your routine helps spice things up
  23. Weight gain is controlled and often decreased
  24. Xtra energy throughout the day
  25. You’ll feel better about yourself and look better too
  26. ZZZZZs - Helps improve sleep quality

Weekly Guidelines

Follow these suggested guidelines for a successful 6-week individual program.

Week 1

GOAL: To measure the number of steps you currently take in a typical week.

WHAT TO DO: Put the pedometer on your waistband and reset it to “0” (refer to the handout “All About Pedometers” for more information).

  • Go about your daily routines as you would normally.
  • If possible, try to forget that you are wearing the pedometer.
  • Don’t try to walk (or swim, bike, etc.) more than you do already.
  • Record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.

Back to top

Week 2

GOAL: To make an effort throughout each day to increase your steps; increase your daily steps by 1,000 steps from Week 1.

WHAT TO DO: Think about how you can incorporate more steps into your daily activities (refer to “Steppin’ It Up Throughout the Day”).

  • In your typical daily routines, try to be aware of activities that can increase your steps.
  • Record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.

Back to top

Week 3

GOAL: To increase your daily steps by 1,000 from Week 2.

WHAT TO DO: Make time in your schedule to walk during breaks, lunch hours, or in the evenings, one to two times a week.

  • Record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.

Back to top

Week 4

GOAL: To increase your daily steps by 1,000 from Week 3.

WHAT TO DO: Think about trying to track your miles from one destination to another.

  • Continue to record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.
  • Look at the Activity Conversion Chart for new forms of physical activity and exercise that you might want to try.
  • Here’s your chance to consider making goals to reach a destination.

Back to top

Week 5

GOAL: Stay motivated and interested in your program.

WHAT TO DO: As workloads increase and midterms arrive, plan time for physical activity in your daily schedule.

  • Increase daily steps by 1,000 from Week 4.
  • Dedicate time to staying active and stress-free.

Back to top

Week 6

GOAL: To add one new activity to your current exercise program (i.e. swim, bike). Your options for physical activity are limitless, so have fun.

WHAT TO DO: Begin to slowly orient yourself to new activities – starting slowly helps prevent injury and increases sustainability of chosen activity.

  • Remember to record all of your physical activity in the tracking booklet.
  • Keep the water coming and stretch.

Congratulations! You’ve made it to Week 6 of your program and chances are you are feeling pretty good about yourself and accomplishing some of your fitness goals. What’s even better news is that you are healthier, too! Walking is such a great way to reduce stress, increase fitness, and get your move on! We hope you continue to do so throughout the rest of the term and the rest of your life. Be sure to check back in with the Beaver Strides Coordinator to cash in on your prizes and talk about your success.

Walking Routes

Avery Park
~ 5,500 Steps

Head south on 15th Street to Avery Park. Make the first right into the park and follow road around the park. Head back to campus via 15th Street.



Covered Bridge
~ 6,000 Steps

Head west on Campus Way. Cross 35th Street and continue on the path. Walk through the covered bridge and then circle back around.

If you have the time, you can continue west to 53rd Street and then turn around, for approximately 8,450 steps.



Riverfront North
~ 6,500 Steps

Go east on Jefferson Avenue toward downtown. Turn left on 11th Street and cut over to Madison Avenue. Continue downtown until you reach the riverfront. Turn left and walk northward along the riverfront path until you reach the end of the path. Turn around and come back up Jefferson.



Riverfront South
~ 7,000 Steps

Go east on Jefferson Avenue toward downtown. Turn right on the riverfront path and head south. Follow the path around to the right and back up to the skate park. Make a slight jog back towards the riverfront to get on the path that will take you under Third Street toward the Mary's River. Walk westward along the Mary's River past Pioneer Park until you reach the intersection of Hwy. 20/34/Philomath Blvd. and 15th Street. Return to campus via 15th Street.



Starker Arts Park
~ 9,000 Steps

Head south from campus until Western Blvd.; turn right. At 35th Street, turn left. Cross over Hwy. 20/34/Philomath Blvd. and pick up the path at the southwest corner of the intersection. Follow the path. At the fork in the path, keep right. Cross over Research Way and continue to the park. On the way back, stay on 35th Street and cut over to campus on Jefferson.



Program Materials

Do you need a little more information about Beaver Strides? This section contains details All about Pedometers and how to Step It Up Throughout the Day.

Additionally, you will find information about how to estimate how far your steps take you. So you walked 2,000 steps today, how far is that? Check out Step Estimates or Converting YOUR Steps to Miles.

Wonder how many "steps" you take while swimming, biking, dancing, or doing other activities? Check out the Beaver Strides Steps Conversion Chart.

All About Pedometers

What is a pedometer?

A pedometer is a small device that clips onto your waistband and counts the number of steps you take based on the number of hip swings and foot strikes. The pedometer was originally conceptualized by Leonardo DaVinci in the 15th Century!

Why use a pedometer?

Pedometers give you immediate feedback on your physical activity levels throughout the day. You can compare your levels from one day to the next and try to increase your step count for better physical fitness. One recommendation is that Americans walk 10,000 steps per day. Using a pedometer will show you if you’re on the mark or need to "step it up"!

When should I wear my pedometer?

All the time! Try to put it on as soon as you are dressed in the morning and wear it throughout the day for all your routine activities as well as during exercise. The pedometers we use are not waterproof, however, so be sure to take it off in the pool or shower.

How do I use my pedometer?

Clip the pedometer to your waistband or belt directly over your knee. Reset the counter by pushing the button. Test the pedometer by taking 10 steps and seeing if the pedometer records approximately 10 steps (9-11 steps is probably a normal reading but try moving the pedometer to increase its accuracy). At the end of the day record your steps on your tracking sheet.

What does my pedometer tell me?

After a week of wearing your pedometer you can average your daily step counts and see how many steps you take on the average day. If this number is below 10,000 you should try to increase your daily step counts so that you get closer and closer to 10,000 per day. This may take some time, especially if your initial average is below 2,500 steps per day. Remember to use gradual increases and build your stamina up over the course of several weeks.

Your pedometer will also point out which days of the week are most active for you and which are the least. If you join us for Move It Mondays you might notice your step count for Mondays is substantially higher than other days. If you spend the whole day Sunday sitting in the library doing homework your step count may be much lower for that day. Once you figure out which days are low step days you can try to add a few ten-minute walks to your routine or walk instead of drive to where you need to go.

Refer to "Step It Up Throughout the Day" for more tips on increasing your daily step count.

How do I properly care for my pedometer?

Be careful to not get the pedometer wet, or it will not function properly. The clips are not flexible, so do not force the pedometer onto your belt or waistband. Clipping your pedometer on a pocket is a good alternative.

Steps-to-Miles Estimates

So how many miles is that? The average person walks 2,000 steps to make a mile. Using that as a baseline you can figure out how many miles you’ve walked by looking at the steps on your pedometer.

  • 500 steps = approximately ¼ mile
  • 1,000 steps = approximately ½ mile
  • 2,000 steps = approximately 1 mile
  • 4,000 steps = approximately 2 miles
  • 5,000 steps = approximately 2 ½ miles
  • 10,000 steps = approximately 5 miles (This is the recommended amount of daily steps for Americans.)
  • 20,000 steps = approximately 10 miles

To determine if these numbers are accurate for you, wear your pedometer while you walk one mile and see how close you are to 2,000 steps. This will help you achieve even greater accuracy.

Converting YOUR Steps to Miles

Because everyone varies in pace and stride length, here is a way to calculate your own personal steps to miles!

1. Wear the pedometer and walk one lap around a 400-meter track

2. 400-meter track locations:

  • Corvallis High School: 836 NW 11th / Behind Fred Meyer)
  • Crescent Valley High School: 4444 NW Highland

3. Multiply the number of steps you take in one lap (400 meters) by 4 to see how many steps you take in one mile.

4. Use this number to figure out total distance per day by dividing your total daily steps by the number of steps you take in one mile.


Jan wears her pedometer for a walk around the quarter-mile school track and it counts 473 steps.

She multiplies 473 by four, to estimate that she takes about 1,892 steps a mile. (For easier math, she calls it 1900 steps)

On Monday evening, her pedometer reads 6,685 steps.

Jan divides 6,685 by 1900, and gets 3.5, or about three and a half miles walked.

How to Convert Your Average Steps to Miles

473 = Average steps for 1 lap around the track
X 4 = laps for one mile
1892 = 1900 for easier math

6685 = Number of steps on Monday
1900 = Number of steps taken in a mile

3.5 = 3½ miles walked on Monday

Step It Up Throughout the Day

Office Time

  • Walk to deliver messages instead of e-mailing coworkers.
  • Use a timer at your desk and set it for 45 minutes. When the buzzer goes off, take a brief walking break around the building or up and down the stairs a few times.
  • Have walking meetings with coworkers.
  • Use some of your lunch break time to take a walk.

Television Time

  • Try to move during the commercial breaks (do sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, or jumping jacks). During a half-hour TV show there are about 10 minutes of commercials. An hour-long show has 20 minutes of commercials.
  • Replace a half-hour of watching TV with a half-hour of walking instead!
  • Change the channel manually rather than using the remote.

Car Time

  • Replace one car trip with walking or biking each day. Most car trips are less than one mile anyway so you can walk about 2,000 steps instead of driving.
  • Park your car farther away from where you are going. Don’t drive around looking for the closest parking spot to the entrance; park in the farthest spot and walk.
  • Don’t use drive-through windows. Park your car and walk into the restaurant, bank, post office, pharmacy, etc. This usually saves you time anyway!

Social Time

  • Walking and talking is a great way to catch up with friends while getting some exercise. Most people can easily carry on a conversation while walking and get some physical activity at the same time.
  • Instead of going to dinner and a movie, go window shopping or walk around a museum instead.

School Time

  • Take the long way to and from your classes.
  • If you have a break between classes, skip the coffee break and go for a walk instead. You’ll feel better and have more energy and mental awareness for your next class.
  • Ask your professor if you can have a walking meeting with them.
  • If you’ve got a long day of studying ahead, set a timer for 45 minutes. Once the buzzer goes off get up and go for a 5- to 10-minute walk and then get back to work.

Home Time

  • Clean the house; sweep, mop, vacuum etc.
  • Rake leaves
  • Take the dog for a walk, offer to take a friend’s dog for a walk, or accompany a dog-walker on their walk.

Exercise Time

  • Try to increase your exercise time by 10 minutes.
  • Add a 5-minute warm up walk and a 5-minute cool down walk to your exercise routine. This will help your muscles relax after an intense work out.
  • If you can’t add time to your work out, try to increase your intensity. Run a little harder or walk a little faster than usual. Get your heart rate up a bit higher than normal.

Beaver Strides Steps Conversion Chart

For each activity, keep track of how many minutes you are exercising and multiply by the number of steps per minute to get a step total:




Aerobics - Step


Ballet Dancing






Bicycling - Mountain


Bicycling - Moderate


Bicycling - Vigorous






Circuit Training




Elliptical - Moderate






Horseback Riding


Ice Skating


Judo and Karate


Jump Rope - Moderate


Jump Rope - Fast


Kickboxing - Moderate


Mowing Lawn






Rock Climbing


Skiing - Downhill


Skiing - Cross-Country






Soccer - Competitive




Tennis - Competitive




Volleyball - Competitive


Washing the Car


Weight lifting






Drinking 8 oz. of Water

100 steps per 8 oz.

Eating 1 serving of fruits or vegetables

100 steps per serving

FREE Health Coaching Appointment (STUDENTS ONLY)

1,000 steps per session

FREE Nutrition Consultation Appointment (STUDENTS ONLY)

1,000 steps per session

FREE Mind Spa Appointment

1,000 steps for 1 hour

FREE 1-on-1 Fitness Programming at Dixon (STUDENTS ONLY)

1,000 steps per session

Step counts taken from America on the Move. More step conversions available from Take Steps.

Health Topics

Are you interested in making your health a lifestyle rather than a chore? Do you beat yourself up for "slipping"? Have you started many programs and then dropped out along the way? Check out Overcoming Barriers for tips on dealing with lack of time or energy, low motivation, and even bad weather. You will find tips to keep up the good work and to stay motivated! Physical activity is for every body!

You will also find useful information on the topics of Warm Up and Cool Down, Shoe Tips, Healthy Eating, Aerobic Exercise. and Stress Reduction.

Aerobic Exercise

Ever wonder what your target heart rate is or what intensity you should aim for while exercising? Thinking about the intensity and duration of physical activity can help you to achieve your fitness goals.

What is Aerobic Exercise?

The word aerobic literally means "with oxygen" or "in the presence of oxygen." Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature. Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs, and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body. As the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient, a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each stroke. Fewer strokes are then required to rapidly transport oxygen to all parts of the body. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session.

  • Aerobic means "with oxygen" or "in the presence of oxygen"
  • Aerobic activity or exercise is any activity that uses a large percentage of muscle mass, can be maintained for a prolonged period, is rhythmical and stimulates the heart, lungs, and muscles.
  • Aerobic activity trains the heart lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body.

Heart Rates

Resting Heart Rate (RHR) - The lowest rate your heart can attain, usually while asleep, a few hours before waking.

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) - The fastest rate at which your heart can pump blood to the rest of the body. The maximum number of beats per minute that the heart can achieve during exercise, or its maximum work output. The "rule of thumb" method of determining MHR is 220 minus age (for males) and 226 minus age (for females). This is only an estimate; your true max may be as many as 15 beats higher or lower. This formula is used for activities during which your feet hit the ground (when cycling, subtract 5 beats; when swimming subtract 10 beats)

Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) - Your maximal heart rate minus your resting heart rate. It's the total "range of motion" for which you heart is currently capable.

Target Heart Rate (THR) - This is the sub-maximal heart rate zone within which you should train during aerobic activity, usually between 55 and 85 percent of Heart Rate Reserve (HRR). Refer to "Determining Your Target Heart Rate" to calculate to yours.

Are You Working Within Your Target Heart Rate?

Take pulse about every 15 minutes (you may need to slow down or even stop). You can also purchase a heart rate monitor. You can get a good monitor for around $60.00. (Cardio equipment in gyms now have HR monitors built in.)

Rating of Perceived Exertion - Created by Dr. Gunner Borg, it allows you to evaluate how you feel at various stages of exercise; helps you become attuned to your body.

The Talk Test - If you can talk comfortably while you are exercising, you are working with in your target zone. However, if you can sing the Phantom of the Opera, you need to step it up a bit!

Also take a look at Determining Target Heart Rate, Determining Exercise Intensity and Deciding Today's Intensity (all PDF files) for more information.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Are you turned off by exercise because of body aches and pains? Being sore from physical activity is a common reason why many people stop being active. "Warming up" your muscles before you get your move on and "cooling down" afterwards can minimize the discomfort of worked muscles. These are essential to any physical activity program and feel great too. Here are a few...

Benefits of Warming Up

  • A warm-up consists of a slow-to-moderate intensity activity that is performed in order to gradually prepare the body to perform sustained activity.
  • Gradually warms muscle temperature, decreasing the likelihood of injury and amount of work for active muscles.
  • Gradually increases blood flow to the heart and other active muscles.
  • Increases elasticity of connective tissue and other muscle components, and lubricates the joints.
  • Reduces the chance of tightness and soreness post-exercise activity, and fatigue during higher level activity.
  • Offers psychological preparation for chosen activity.
  • Your response during warm-up determines the likelihood of your ability to complete the chosen activity.

Walking Warm-up

Begin by making sure you have the appropriate shoes and clothing on for walking, and if possible, have a watch on hand for timing the duration of your walk.

Warm-up for at least 5-10 minutes (taking into consideration the chosen activity, duration of activity, and personal warm-up needs)

Start out walking with hands at your sides, moving them as naturally as possible (2 or 4 minutes approx.)

  • Pace will be slower-to-moderate and the focus is to acclimate yourself to being physical.
  • Think about rhythmic or controlled breathing (i.e. in through the nose and out through the mouth).
  • Slightly tighten your abdominal muscles to support good postural alignment.

Next, begin to pump arms* at your side increasing the pace to a more moderate intensity (about 3 to 6 minutes).

  • Keep breathing and allow your upper body and arms to respond to the movement of your lower body.

Once the warm-up is complete, you are ready to enter the main part of the walking program.

  • Try to remember breathing and postural cues while walking.

* Pumping arms requires the following:

  • Bend at the elbows to create a 90-degree angle.
  • Initiate a front-to-back movement of the arms from the shoulder joint.

Walking Cool-down

Begin by gradually decreasing the intensity and pace of your walk. At this point, you will be finished with the main part of your walking workout.

You will typically cool-down for at least 5-10 minutes, or for how ever long is necessary for you to decrease your heart rate and come to a more relaxed physical state

Begin by bringing your arms to your sides again (discontinue arm-pumping), swinging your arms from front to back as naturally as possible (2 or 4 minutes approx.)

  • Pace will become slower and the focus is to achieve a more relaxed physical state.
  • Think about rhythmic or controlled breathing (i.e. in through the nose and out through the mouth).
  • Postural alignment is still important during cool-down.

Continue to slow the pace and recognize any areas that may be tight and whether or not your heart rate has sufficiently decreased (3 or 6 minutes approx.)

  • Keep breathing and allow your upper body and arms to respond to the movement of your lower body.
  • If your heart rate is still elevated or you do not feel more physically relaxed, continue to reduce the pace or stop and rest.

Once the cool-down is complete, you are ready to begin stretching and continue with other scheduled activities

  • Remember to drink plenty of water to re-hydrate and keep yourself hydrated this also keeps you more flexible.
  • Take breaks during the day to stretch and remain limber.

Shoe Tips

Do you get shin splints or shooting pains in your legs when you exercise? Choosing the right shoe is extremely important to successful walking. Wearing proper shoes can prevent injury and ensures a more comfortable physical activity experience. How you lace your shoes is another thing to consider when preparing to be active.

Picking Shoes and Laces: Things to Look For

  • Comfort is of utmost importance
  • Good toe room is highly important
  • Sturdiness and support for your foot
  • Durability of the shoe
  • Price
  • Availability of wide or narrow sizes
  • Versatility: use your shoes for walking and for working/shopping

Shoe Trying Tips

  • Bring the socks you generally wear walking to use while trying on the shoes.
  • The right size for walking shoes will be a size to a size and a half larger than your dress shoes because your feet swell while walking.
  • Try on shoes later in the day or right after walking so your feet will have swelled.
  • Shoes should feel great when you put them on, don't buy them thinking you will "wear them in."
  • If you have wide or narrow feet, look for a brand that has widths.
  • If any part of your foot feels it is rubbing against a rough spot in the shoe or boot, try another pair or style. You are sure to get blisters otherwise.
  • Get the right laces.
  • If your laces are too long, replace them with shorter laces.
  • Round laces seem to be more slippery than flat ones.
  • Plastic or velcro lace lock can be used with your existing laces.

Know Your Knots

  • Double-knot the bow. This is not a cure-all. Some walkers may need to triple- or quadruple-tie their shoes to keep them tied.
  • Double-knot the bow and then tuck the laces (all four ends) under the crisscrossed laces toward the front of the shoe.
  • First, tie your shoes as you normally do. Then, cross the laces. Then form a loop with each side like rabbits ears. Take one loop and wrap it twice around the other and pull tight. Tuck the laces in under one of the crossed laces. They will never come untied and as a bonus they also never knot and come undone when you pull either lace.
  • Another knot: After forming the first loop go around it twice instead of only once before pulling the second loop through. The two times around the center of the knot keeps it from working untied.

Other Tricks

  • Two words: duct tape. Run a piece of tape around the instep so it covers the laces. They don't become loose and the ends stay tucked under the tape.
  • Squirt a little water on your shoelaces after they are tied; they should stay tied for the whole day.
  • Sew them up with a needle and thread. Before you head out, tie your shoes and put the stitch through the lace knot, just 3 or 4 times. When finished with your outing, a strong tug will free them up.

Healthy Eating, Part 1

Want to eat healthy but afraid you'll be stuck eating celery stalks, lettuce sandwiches and cabbage soup? It doesn't have to be that hard.

Here are a few quick and easy suggestions to nudge you down the path towards healthier eating habits.

Remember: When you modify your eating behaviors, quick changes usually dont last. It should be a gradual, ongoing process. Try a few things for a while and then look for more ways to adjust.

  • Drink more water and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices rather than soda and sugary juice drinks
  • Buy fresh fruits and veggies instead of canned
  • Eat poultry, fresh fish and lean red meat (remove skin and excess fat)
  • Try low-fat/non-fat dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese and milk (Hint: gradually reduce the % of fat rather than switching straight to non-fat. For example, drink 1% milk for a while, then move to ½% etc; it'll be less noticeable and more manageable)
  • Try light ice-cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet or ice milk instead of ice cream
  • Cook with canola or olive oil and light margarine rather than butter or animal fat oils
  • Use condiments sparingly (most just add fat, sugar or sodium)
  • Take your lunch
  • Avoid vending machines, convenience stores and fast food
  • Dont use vitamin and mineral supplements as a substitute for balanced meals
  • Remember moderation (Avoid super size or value meals)
  • Choose BBQ, sweet and sour, tomato, pesto or honey sauces instead of ranch, tarter or other cream sauces
  • Broil or grill rather than fry
  • Steam rather than boil vegetables
  • Find low-fat/no-fat options that you can substitute without too much of a sacrifice (fat-free sour cream, cool-whip, croutons, refried beans, and low-fat cream soup for recipes)

Here are some more suggestions to improve your diet:

  • Eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables
    • Fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients and fewer calories than any other food groups.
    • In the Nurses Health Study of 74,000 women, it was found that those who gained the least weight as they grew older were those who consumed the most fruits and vegetables.
    • These are also the foods which protect against cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
    • Strive for 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables as a bare minimum. Take carrots, apples, tangerines, and other easy packers with you in the morning. Keep kiwis, bananas, and green bell peppers on the counter. Have a salad AND a side of vegetables with your meals. It takes practice.
  • Eat breakfast
    • Small frequent meals are linked to lower body weights than the same number of calories consumed in fewer, larger meals.
    • Alertness and test scores are higher when people have eaten breakfast than when they haven't.
    • Breakfast is an opportunity to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Recipe Ideas


  • Cold cereal, low fat milk, a banana, and ½ cup orange juice. (Look 2 fruits!)
  • Old-fashioned oatmeal make with low fat milk & raisins, ½ cup OJ (2 fruits again!)
  • Whole wheat toast with an egg and grilled tomato, ½ cup apple juice (Do egg & tomato in the same pan. 1 fruit & 1 vegetable!)

Lunch - Garden Deli Sandwich

  • 4 Tbl. Light cream cheese
  • 1 whole wheat Pita bread
  • 8 cucumber slices
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 1 cup Romaine lettuce

Cut Pita bread in half. Spread cream cheese inside Pita bread. Add sliced vegetables and spouts. Serve with apple quarters or other fruit.

Dinner - Black Bean Quesadillas

  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbl. Salsa, thick and chunky
  • ½ tsp. Onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 2 tbl. Chopped green onion
  • 4 flour tortillas (7 ½ diameter)
  • 2 oz. Grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Mash beans. Add salsa, seasonings and onion. Mix well.

Microwave Oven: Spoon filling onto half of each tortilla. Top with cheese and fold each tortilla in half. Microwave on high for 60 seconds, rotating ¼ turn halfway trough cooking time.

Skillet or Griddle: divide filling onto 2 tortillas. Top with cheese and the remaining two tortillas. Spray griddle or skillet with non-stick cooking spray and brown quesadillas on both sides. Cut in half or quarters before serving.

Serve with sliced tomatoes and quartered kiwi fruit, or other fruit and vegetable.

Recipes adapted from Quick & Healthy by Brenda J. Ponichtera, MS RD.

Smoothie Recipes

Banana Strawberry Delight

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup frozen strawnerries
  • 3/4 cup soy milk

Creamy Pineapple Surprise

  • 1/3 cup mango
  • 2/3 cup canned pineapple
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 ¼ cup soy milk

Peachy Keen

  • 1 cup peaches
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • 1 cup chilled peach juice
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 ice cubes


Put all ingredients into your blender. Blend on high power until smooth.


Pump up the nutritional value of your smoothie with any of the following additives! (Please note: we do not personally guarantee the health benefits or the taste of any of the following; this list was made from visitor input.)

  • 1 T. Wheat Germ
  • ¼ c. uncooked oatmeal
  • ¼ c. Post 100% bran cereal
  • 1 T. Protein powder (try each variety: soy, rice, or dairy)
  • Tofu
  • Milk substituted for part of juice/lemonade
  • Blackstrap molasses (extra iron)
  • Brewer's yeast (protein)
  • Spirulina or chlorella (vitamins)
  • Flaxseed oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Bee pollen (amino acids)
  • Psyllium husk powder (fiber)

Smoothie Website:

Healthy Eating, Part 2

The DASH Diet

The DASH diet was devised to bring down high blood pressure, but it may improve health in many ways. Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk for some cancers. The calcium in dairy products can lower risk for osteoporosis and PMS. And a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

The DASH diet can't do it alone, though. It's important that you take other steps to preserve health, including exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol.

The DASH Diet Guide:

Here are the number of servings you should consume daily from each food group. Serving amounts are based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day.

  • Grains and grain products: 7 to 8 daily (1 slice bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup pasta)
  • Fruits: 4 to 5 servings daily (1 medium fruit, 1/2 cup canned fruit, 6 oz fruit juice, apricots, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, melons, strawberries, kiwi, apples)
  • Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings daily (6 oz. vegetable juice, 1 cup raw, leafy or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables; tomatoes, broccoli, peas, carrots, potatoes, squash, leafy greens)
  • Dairy: 2 to 3 daily (8 oz. skim milk or yogurt, 1 cup soy milk, 1.5 oz low-fat cheese)
  • Meats, poultry and fish: 2 or fewer daily (3 oz. fish, poultry or lean meat is a serving). Note: "2 or fewer" means that meat is not considered necessary.
  • Seeds, legumes and nuts: 1-2 daily (2 tablespoons seeds [flaxseed, sesame, sunflower], 1/2 cup cooked legumes [kidney beans, lentils, soup beans], or 1/3 cup nuts or soy nuts.

If Cholesterol is a Concern

  • Flax seeds, 2 teaspoons (ground up), added to meals
  • When using fat, choose olive or canola oil, rather than butter or margarine
  • When eating flesh, choose fish and poultry more than red meats
  • Add soy protein to diet (25 grams/day) from soy nuts, soy milk, soy foods
  • Drink green tea, grape juice or red wine (1/day only), onions and garlic in cooking

Weight Control Tips:

  • Be active: walk, ride a bike, take the stairs, rake and mow, wash windows...
  • Eat breakfast
  • Flax seeds, 2 teaspoons (ground up), added to meals
  • Seek out fruits and vegetables
  • Don't drink your calories

Overcoming Barriers

Do you struggle to fit physical activity into your busy day? All of us have days when we just don't feel like exercising or lack the time in our schedules. It is easy to forget how great you feel after moving your body; especially when the rain starts or the couch seems to suck you in. Here you will find information to help you overcome your own personal barriers and to develop an action plan. Learn valuable "cues to action" to remind yourself that physical activity is for every body.

Lack of Time

  • Monitor your daily activities for one week
  • Identify 30-minute time slots that you could spend being active


  • Identify 3 times during the day where you spend 10 minutes being active
  • Walk to work or school
  • Organize social activities around physical activities
  • Exercise during your lunch hour
  • Walk the dog
  • Park farther away from your destination

Bad Weather

Make a list of activities that are available regardless of the weather that could include:

  • Mall walking
  • Stair climbing
  • Indoor cycling
  • Indoor Swimming
  • Raquetball
  • Rollerblading/rollerskating
  • Put on your rain jacket and layer your clothes for an outdoor adventure!


  • Plan ahead and make activity a top priority in your day
  • Schedule physical activity into your daily schedule
  • Join a class with others
  • Call a friend and go walking together

Lack of Energy

  • Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.
  • Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, exercise will increase your energy level, and then try it.

Family Responsibilities

  • Incorporate children into your exercise program
  • Run around the playground with kids
  • Play tag with children
  • Make exercise a family affair
  • Trade babysitting time with a friend who also has children

Lack of Skills

"Most everyone developed a physical activity skill around the age of 1 year. It's called walking." - Active Living Alliance

Select other activities that require no special skills such as:

  • Jogging
  • Climbing stairs
  • Hiking
  • Start out slowly
  • Choose a physical activity that is realistic and doable
  • Take a class to develop new skills

Access and Resources

  • Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment
  • Identify convenient resources available in your community such as:
    • Parks and Recreation programs
    • Worksite programs
    • Check out workout videos from the library
    • Tune into early morning exercise programs on television

Fear of Injury or Pain

  • Start slowly!
  • Gradually strengthen your muscles and build endurance
  • Learn to properly warm up and cool down in order to prevent injury
  • Learn to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, and health status
  • Choose activities involving minimal risk
  • Check with your doctor about your level of physical activity

Fear of Embarrassment

  • You don't look strange when you exercise, you look like a person who is taking positive steps toward better health
  • You don't have to wear shorts or other revealing types of workout clothes; wear long sweats and a T-shirt or sweatshirt
  • Find a friend to go with you, you will be less embarrassed if you have a partner
  • Walk on a track instead of on the sidewalk

Social Influences

  • Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family, ask them to support your efforts
  • Invite friends or family to exercise with you
  • Develop new friendships with physically active people
  • Join a group such as the YMCA or a walking club

Beaver Strides is a great first step to overcoming your barriers!

Stress Reduction

Do you get stressed out from the pressures of work or school? As a society, we are constantly on-the-go and busy with the daily events in our lives. Sometimes we forget to take time out of our day to de-stress, relax and breathe. Learn some easy and simple exercises to reduce the stress in your life.


Meditation is an English approximation for the Sanskrit word dhyana, which means an unbroken flow of thought toward and object of concentration. The object of meditation might be a word, a picture, an image, a concept, or the breath. If the object of meditation is a word, you start by concentration on that word. As your concentration deepens, your mind flows continually toward this word. As you move deeper into meditation, your mind becomes totally absorbed in that word.

During meditation, the thinking process is stilled. The mind becomes quiet, providing profound rest for the mind, with the result that it returns to thought refreshed and revitalized. Meditation is the finest method for creating mental relaxation.

There are misunderstandings about meditation. Often when we hear the word, we think of the dictionary definition to think deeply or ponder some subject. But here we are referring to a distinct process for working with the mind, not a type of thinking. Meditation is conscious effort to focus the mind in a nonanalytic manner and to move away from thinking about things.

Another misunderstanding arises from the association between meditation and mystical practices of an ascetic lifestyle. But meditation can be effectively practiced by people richly involved with life who want to experience optimal health and well-being.

Research studies have consistently shown that people who practice meditation, their psychological well-being improves. Meditations experience improved self-esteem, decreased anxiety and depression, higher levels of self-actualization, and better overall health.

Total Relaxation: Healing Practices for Body, Mind and Spirit by John R. Harvey, Ph.D.

Deep Breathing Exercises


Breathing exercises have been an integral part of mental, spiritual and physical development in the orient and India for centuries. Westerners have only recently become aware of the importance of correct breathing habits.


Breathing exercises have been found to be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, irritability, muscular tension and fatigue. They are used in the treatment and prevention of breath-holding, hyperventilation, shallow breathing, and cold hands and feet.

Time for Mastery

Breathing exercises can be learned in a matter of minutes. Full appreciation of the effects of deep breathing may take a matter of months.

Deep Breathing

  1. Lie down on a soft blanket or rug on the floor. Bend your knees and move your feet about eight inches apart, with your toes turned outward slightly. Make sure that your spine is straight.
  2. Scan your body for tension.
  3. Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
  4. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose into your abdomen to push up your hand as much as feels comfortable. Your chest should move only a little and only with your abdomen.
  5. When you are at ease with your breathing, smile slightly and inhale through your nose and exhale through you mouth, making a quiet, relaxing, whooshing sound like the wind as you blow gently out.
  6. Your mouth, tongue and jaw should be relaxed.
  7. Take long, slow, deep breaths which raise and lower your abdomen.
  8. Focus on the sound and feeling of breathing as you become more and more relaxed.
  9. At the end of each breathing session, take a little time to once more scan you body for tension.
  10. Compare the tension you feel at the conclusion of the exercise with how you felt when you began the exercise.
  11. As you become more comfortable with deep breathing, you can practice it whenever you feel like it during the day whether you are sitting or standing.
  12. Practice your deep breathing anytime you start to feel tense.


  • Start out your exercises by deep breathing for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day, for a couple of times a day.
  • As you become more comfortable in your breathing you can extend this period as you see fit.

Progressive Relaxation

What is Progressive Relaxation?


  • Developed by Edmund Jacobson, a Chicago physician
  • Is a deep muscle technique that requires no imagination, willpower, or suggestion
  • Based on the premise that the body responds to anxiety-provoking thoughts and events with muscle tension
  • By relaxing the deep muscles, one reduces physiological tension
  • Regular practice blocks the habit of responding to stressful situations with anxiety and tension

Practical Use

  • Reduces pulse rate and blood pressure
  • Decreases perspiration and respiration rates
  • Can be used as an anti-anxiety pill

Time For Mastery

  • One to Two Weeks
  • Two 15 minute sessions per day

Focus Areas:

During the progressive muscle relaxation exercise, we will be focusing on four major muscle groups:

  1. Hands, forearms, and biceps
  2. Head, face, throat and shoulders, including concentration on forehead, cheeks, nose, eyes, jaws, lips, tongue, and neck. Considerable attention is devoted to your head, because from the emotional point of view, the most important muscles in your body are situated in and around this region.
  3. Chest, stomach, and lower back
  4. Thighs, buttocks, calves, and feet.


  • Begin by practicing deep breathing exercises, to relax your mind and body
  • Turn off or dim the lights
  • Play some soothing music
  • Keep your eyes closed

Relaxing expressions to ponder when de-stressing:

  • Let go of tension
  • Throw away the tension I am feeling calm and rested
  • Relax and smooth out the muscles
  • Let the tension dissolve away

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercises

Hands, Fists, Forearms

  • Get into a comfortable position in your chair and relax
  • Clench your right fist, tighter and tighter
  • Notice the tension in your fist, hand, and forearm
  • Now relax...
  • Repeat the entire procedure with your left fist
  • Repeat the entire procedure with both fists


  • Bend your elbows
  • Tense your biceps as hard as you can
  • Observe the feeling of tautness
  • Relax and straighten out your arms
  • Let the relaxation develop and feel the difference
  • Repeat this and all succeeding procedures at least once


  • Turn attention to your head
  • Wrinkle your forehead as tight as you can
  • Now relax and smooth it out
  • Let yourself imagine your entire forehead and scalp becoming smooth and at rest
  • Now frown and notice the strain spreading throughout your forehead
  • Let go; Allow your brow to become smooth again


  • Close your eyes now and squeeze them tightly
  • Relax your eyes
  • Let them remain closed gently and comfortably


  • Now clench your jaw, bite hard; notice the tension throughout your jaw
  • Relax the jaw
  • When the jaw is relaxed, your lips will be slightly apart
  • Let yourself appreciate the contrast between tension and relaxation
  • Now press your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Feel the ache in the back of your mouth
  • Relax
  • Press your lips now, purse then into an O
  • Relax your lips
  • Notice that your forehead, scalp, eyes, jaw, tongue, and lips are all relaxed

Neck and Shoulders

  • Press your head as far back as it can comfortably go and observe the tension in your neck
  • Roll your head slowly to the right and feel the changing locus of stress
  • Roll your head slowly to the left
  • Straighten your head and bring it forward
  • Press your chin against your chest
  • Feel the tension in your throat and in the back of your neck
  • Relax, allowing your head to return to a comfortable position
  • Let the relaxation deepen
  • Now, shrug your shoulders
  • Keep the tension as you hunch your head down between your shoulders
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Drop them back and feel the relaxation spreading through your neck, throat and shoulders
  • Pure relaxation, deeper and deeper


  • Give your entire body a chance to relax
  • Feel the comfort and the heaviness
  • Now breathe in and fill your lungs completely
  • Now exhale; let your chest become loose and let the air out with a hiss
  • Continue relaxing; letting your breath come freely and gently
  • Repeat this several times, noticing the tension draining from your body
  • As you exhale, tighten your stomach, pushing your hands up
  • Hold this and then relax
  • Arch your back without straining
  • Keep the rest of your body as relaxed as possible
  • Focus on the tension in your lower back
  • Now relax deeper and deeper

Buttocks and Thighs

  • Tighten your buttocks and thighs
  • Flex your thighs by pressing down your heels as hard as you can
  • Relax and feel the difference
  • Now curl your toes downward; making your calves tense
  • Study the tension
  • Relax
  • Now bend your toes towards your face, creating tension in your shins
  • Relax again

Notice, how your whole body feels relaxed and heavy at the end of the entire exercise; the more you let go of stress, the more relaxed and loose each muscle group becomes.

Stress Reduction Tips

Stress is a huge topic - after all, you can have stress from virtually every area of your life. So boiling a list of tips down to two pages is quite a challenge! To meet this challenge, three tips will be placed into each of several wellness categories. You are probably doing really well in some of these areas, already, but not all of them. The areas in which you are not doing so well can serve as a starting point for your own stress reduction program.


  • Take care of yourself! This is the stuff youve always heard about but a reminder never hurts: Eat a diet that is high in fiber (fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes); relatively low in fat (15 to 30 percent of daily calories); and moderate in sugar and salt.
  • Exercise - move as much as you can. Your body needs three kinds of exercise for optimal health: strength, flexibility and aerobic. If you need help in any of these areas, please ask!
  • Medical Self-Care: See a medical practitioner for any medical need you may have.


  • Reduce stress. Not only do you need to address all areas to reduce the amount of stress you experience, but you also need some specific activities that reduce the effects of stress. Thats called: Sress Reduction. Learn some stress reduction skills: deep breathing, progressive relaxation, cognitive restructuring.
  • Take care of your internal environment by listening to your feelings, validating them and working to change the ones that are painful.
  • Get help if you need it!


  • Listen! Theres nothing better for relationships - any relationships - than listening!
  • Work on your communication. The better you communicate, the better are your relationships.
  • Be willing to admit your mistakes - people will respect you even more for it.

Life in General

  • Learn how to balance all areas of your life. When you spend too much of your time in one area (e.g., work), another area inevitably suffers (e.g., relationships).
  • Time is one of your most precious resources; learn how to budget it so that your priorities are apparent.
  • Deep breathe...when you find yourself getting anxious or depressed. Do this before you decide on any course of action.


Participants have access to the ever-expanding Beaver Strides Library. Stride on over to Student Health Services @ Dixon and check one out today!

Beginner's Guide to Power Walking Janice Meakin
The Dash Diet For Hypertension Moore, Svetkey, Lin, Karanja, and Jenkins
Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy Walter C. Willet, M.D.
The Glucose Revolution Foster-Powell, Brand-Miller, Leeds, and Wolever
The Glucose Revolution: Pocket Guide Foster-Powell, Brand-Miller, Leeds, and Wolever
Intuitive Eating Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
The Spirited Walker Carolyn Scott Kortge
Stretching Bob Anderson
Quick and Healthy: Recipes and Ideas Brenda J. Ponichtera
The Spark Dr. Glenn A. Gaesser and Karla Dougherty
Understanding Nutrition Eleanor Whitney and Sharon Rolfes
The Walker's Literary Companion Gilber, Tobinson, and Wallace
Walking Yoga Ila Sarley and Garrett Sarley

College Gambling

Gambling among college students is on the rise. This is of particular concern, due to the fact that college students develop gambling problems at about twice the rate of other adults.

Quick Facts

Gambling Among Athletes

Internet Gambling

Information provided by the Wellness Resource Center and Partners in Prevention

Problem Gambling

What exactly is problem gambling? Problem gambling is defined as a progressive behavioral disorder in which a person has an uncontrollable preoccupation and urge to gamble and an emotional dependence on it.

Warning Signs of Problem Gambling

  • Frequent unexplained absences from school or work
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Increased use of gambling language, especially the word “bet” in conversations
  • Trouble concentrating in non-gambling activities
  • Talking about winnings more and trying to hide gambling losses
  • Lies about engaging in gambling behavior
  • Changes in behavior such as mood changes
  • Decline in health such as increased signs of depression and neglection of personal hygiene
  • Unexplained missing household and personal items
  • Thinking that the odds can be outsmarted
  • Feeling obligated to chase losses
  • Gambling to escape worries and other problems
  • Unexplained debt
  • Borrowing money to gamble

The take-home message here is not “don’t ever gamble,” it is that if you choose to gamble, do so in a healthy manner and in moderation.

Tips for Safer Gambling

If you choose to gamble, it is important to do so in a healthy manner and in moderation. Here are some tips to make sure that any gambling remains a recreational activity, and does not lead to problems.

  • Always gamble with others and not alone.
  • Set limits on how long and how often you gamble.
  • Treat the money you gamble with as a cost of entertainment.
  • Only gamble what you can afford to lose.
  • Leave the credit and debit cards at home.
  • Balance gambling with other activities.
  • Expect to lose: the odds are against you.
  • Avoid chasing losses; know when to walk away.
  • Become educated about the signs of addiction.

Treatment Options for Problem Gamblers

What are the treatment options? There are a variety of resources on the Internet that can help a problem gambler get their gambling under control. There are also many 24-hour help lines that are designed to offer counseling, referrals and someone to talk to about problem gambling. These resources are listed below.

Benton Country Health Department offers three treatment options for problem gamblers, depending on the person’s needs:

  • GEAR (Gambling Evaluation and Reduction): A free, confidential phone-based program helps participants learn how to avoid potentially harmful gambling patterns. The program includes phone consultation, workbook exercises, and referral resources to help participants in making the right decisions about gambling. Call 1-877-278-6766 or 1-877-870-0177 to enroll or to get more information.
  • Outpatient Treatment: Face-to-face interventions with a professional. This free treatment is offered to the gambler and/or their family members. The program offers assessment, individually tailored treatment, one-on-one counseling, group counseling and/or family involvement. Call 541-967-3819 to schedule an appointment.
  • Residential Care and Crisis Respite Services: This is an inpatient treatment option where participants either briefly or for a longer period of time reside in a treatment facility. Participants must be referred from an outpatient treatment program.


Campus Resources:

Community Resources:

Other Resources:

Health Coaching

What is Health Coaching?

Health Coaching is informal, confidential meetings with a health educator that are designed to help students improve their overall health. Discussions focus on areas of desired improvement and goals associated with these areas. Health coaches help participants to develop an individualized health improvement plan in order to meet these goals.

What areas of my life can I get assistance with?

Participants can get assistance in a variety of topics including stress/time management, healthy eating, physical activity, financial management, relationship issues, alcohol and other drugs, sexual health and any other general health topics.

How can Health Coaching help me?

Sometimes trying to improve your health can seem like a huge task, but don’t worry, our health coaches are here to help. Participants can receive guidance, encouragement, resources and feedback from health coaches. Your coach can help you develop a plan that will work for you, and will stand by your side to help you achieve you goals.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by calling 541-737-7556. Meetings are located at either Student Health Services or Dixon Recreation Center. Health coaching is available only to OSU students.

How do I prepare for my Health Coaching appointment?

Once you make the appointment, you will receive an e-mail with a link to an online health assessment to do before your appointment. You will also be asked to do a brief goals exercise. Bring both of these to your appointment, as they will help you and your coach develop a plan to get you on track to meeting your goals.

How much does Health Coaching cost?

Health Coaching is FREE for students. You can see a health coach as many times as you want.

What other services does the Health Coaching program offer?

On-site Health Coaching: Health educators are also available to come to you. We can schedule a health coach to come to your residence hall, sorority or fraternity house, or cultural center for an hour a week as a resource for your students. Students could just drop by to ask a quick question, or they can stay and chat with a health coach for longer.

Group Health Coaching: Health coaches can also provide a group health coaching experience. The Health Coach will lead the group through a series of reflective writing exercises and talk about goal setting, motivation and behavior change. The coach will also offer tips and suggestions on a variety of health topics. Students can then follow-up with a one-on-one appointment if they would like more assistance. This is a great option for a classroom setting, or a program at a residence hall, cultural center, or sorority/fraternity house.

How can I contact a health coach?

You can reach a health coach at 541-737-7556 or


Student Health Services offers unlimited one-on-one nutrition counseling to students at no charge, provided by our Registered Dietitians. These services focus on nutrition and physical activity assessment, and self-guided goal setting. The dietitian will not ask you to make changes you do not seek yourself, but rather help organize your goals into small, measurable, attainable objectives.

The Registered Dietitian can give you guidance with:

How to Make an Appointment

To make an appointment, call 541-737-9355. Appointments are available at Student Health Services (Plageman Building) and at SHS @ Dixon. Be sure to ask where your appointment will be held when you call to schedule it.

Appointments are confidential and last approximately 40 minutes. There is NO CHARGE for consultations, and appointments are unlimited, in order to best assist you with your goals.

NOTE: A $15 fee will be assessed to your account if you fail to show up to scheduled appointment.

Preparing for Your First Appointment

Complete the Nutrition and Health Information Questionnaire (PDF). Follow instructions on the form and return it at least one day prior to your appointment.

Begin to think about your normal diet, and consider strengths and weaknesses along with specific goals you would like to discuss with the dietitian.

Other Services

The dietitians are also available to provide nutrition education on a variety of nutrition-related topics to on-campus groups. Presentations can be requested via our online form.

Contact Us

For appointments: 541-737-9355
Confidential fax: 541-737-9665

Taryn Hand, MS, RD, LD, CSSD:

What is a Registered Dietitian?

A Registered Dietitian (RD) is a food and nutrition expert who has:

  • Completed a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university (some Registered Dietitians also have post-graduate degrees)
  • Completed an accredited supervised practice program
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration

Because of the education required to become a Registered Dietitian, RDs are health professionals who are best equipped to help you meet your food and nutrition goals.

Healthy Recipes

Food Hero

Dozens of recipes organized in alphabetical order or by category. Also has a tips and tricks educational section.

Budget Bytes

Features recipes organized by course, type of protein, cuisine. Also prices out each recipe per serving for those that are budget conscious.

USDA Recipe Finder

Features a recipe finder to search by course, food group, cooking method or cuisine.

Ready Set Eat

Features a recipe finder, featured daily recipe, good for you section, coupons and special offers section.

Mayo Clinic Recipes

Browse recipes by main ingredient, course, meal, preparation method, yield.

Eating Well

Features free newsletters, healthy cooking basics, healthy ingredients swaps in recipes, numerous healthy recipes for all occasions, tips for healthier cooking.

Cooking Light

Features the healthy traveler, tips for healthy eating at different types of restaurants, top-rated recipe section, entertaining section, cooking 101 section, eating smart section with a recipe makeover component, healthy living, and community section.

All Recipes

Recipe of the day feature! Search recipes by type of dish, ingredient, holiday, special dietary need or download free recipe application to your smart phone.

Nutrition Events

Upcoming activities where Student Health Nutrition will be involved:

  • CONNECT Picnic: Thursday, Sept. 25, 5:00-7:00 p.m., MU Quad
  • Beaver Community Fair: Friday, Oct. 3, 12:00-4:00 p.m., MU Quad
  • BeWell 5K: Friday, Oct. 17, 3:30 p.m., MU Quad
  • HHS 231 Lifetime Fitness for Health
  • National Nutrition Month
  • Eating Disorder Awareness Week
  • Nutrition talks to campus groups and organizations on various topics. Request a presentation!
  • Cooking classes
  • And more!

Peer Health Advocates

What is Peer Health Advocates?

Peer Health Advocates (PHA) is a peer-to-peer volunteer organization committed to enhancing the health of the OSU community through outreach events.

PHA volunteers conduct campus activities designed to raise awareness about college health issues and promote healthy behavior choices among our peers. Past events and projects have included awareness of safer sex behaviors, HIV/AIDS, impact of stress, alcohol and substance abuse, and other health related issues. Volunteers also collaborate with other campus groups on events, attend weekly volunteer meetings, and engage in skill/team building activities.

Students involved with PHA are rewarded with opportunities to grow in their leadership potential, and are involved with meaningful opportunities to make a difference within the OSU community.

Peer Health Advocates is open and available to all OSU students, and is dedicated to promoting an open exchange of information, ideas, opinions and inclusiveness of all students, including: race/ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, and religion.

What are the volunteer expectations?

Expectations for all volunteers are the following:

How can you become a volunteer?

Becoming a volunteer is a two-step process. The first step is to complete an application online during the open application period (see below) to indicate your interst. Note: Applications submitted outside of the open application period will not be processed. After review of your application and successfully passing a reference check, you will receive an email regarding your status. Once approved, the next step is to enroll in or audit the training course (H349: Peer Helper Skills) during or prior to your first term with PHA.

NOTE: All new volunteers must enroll in H349 or audit the course and complete it in good standing. The course is listed under Public Health in the course catalog and is currently offered winter and spring term. 

Online applications will be processed ONLY during the following times: Weeks 4-6 of Winter and Spring Term

Joining Winter 2015: Application submission period is open weeks 4-6. The next opportunity to join PHA will be to apply during Winter Term to join Spring 2015.

What is in it for you?

If you become a peer health educator or volunteer you will be rewarded with...


Contact the PHA Office (SHS Room 333) at 541-737-3927, the PHA Coordinator at 541-737-7555, or email Peer.Advocates[at]oregonstate[dot]edu.

PHA Volunteer Application

Please feel free to contact Adria Godon-Bynum at 541-737-7555 if you have any further questions.

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Peer Theater

Peer Theater offers students a fun and interactive way to promote safer sex and communication with your partner, cultural awareness, healthy body image, responsible drinking, and other college health issues.

Using performance and role-playing, theatrical dynamics, and improvisational acting activities the troupe strives to educate, problem solve, and promote social justice and healthy lifestyle choices.


Coursework focuses on the major health and social issues facing college students, health disparities, cultural differences in health beliefs and behaviors, acting techniques and performance preparation skills. Projects include writing and performing a monologue and a group scene.

H120 also serves as a training course for students who are interested in becoming a member of the Health Promotion Department's Peer Theater troupe.

What students have to say about H120:

"This was my most entertaining class of the term, it kept me on my feet!"

"I'm so glad I signed up! Every time I walked out of this class, I've learned something new."

"I really thought this class was probably the best class I have ever taken here at OSU because we don't only read from books and have lectures the whole term, but we actually get to engage in class with other classmates, which made me learn a lot quicker and it was definitely a fun class."

"By taking this course, I have found myself to become more open-minded and not to quickly judge others."

Read more comments about H120 (PDF).


All scripts are written by OSU students. A majority of the scripts come from the students in the H120 class, but we also accept original monologues and/or scenes written by OSU students that we can use as scripts for our performances. Contact if you are interested.

Sexual Health

What is Sexual Health?Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual health as "the state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction and infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive, respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled."

What is Sex?

All people are sexual beings from birth to death. Our sexuality includes:

Not everyone has the same definition of sex and what it includes so when you are talking with your partner, make sure both parties understands what you are talking about!

The SHS Health Promotion Department approaches safer sex with a harm reduction approach. We focus on education and prevention. Our message: “Should you choose to have sex, here’s how to protect yourself and your partner by practicing safer sex.”

What is Safer Sex?

Safer sex means protecting yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and unplanned pregnancy. It can also mean deciding to abstain from sexual intercourse or finding other forms of sexual expression that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids.

Abstinence is the only 100 percent foolproof method of preventing STIs, HIV and pregnancy.

What is Abstinence?

Abstinence can also mean different things for different people depending on that person’s definition of sex. 

What's Hot

Spicy News

Student Health Services has 17 locations across campus where students can access free condoms, dental dams, finger cots and other sexual health information and resources.Locate the newest Condom Hot Spots in various dining halls!


Be aware that the smoking-hot Mobile Condom Hot Spot golf cart (photo at right) will be making its rounds. If you recognize it around campus, ask for a Trojan Fire & Ice Condom, a Luv Kit or a Condom Carrier!

Condom Hot Spot golf cart

Burning Question

How do you know if your hymen is broken or not?

The hymen is a thin membrane, with a space or spaces for periods to flow through, which partially blocks the opening of the vaginal introitus, or vaginal entrance. Hymens can be stretched or torn during the first experience of sexual penetration, or with tampon use or other non-sexual activity. It can also be stretched with fingers. Some females are born without hymens. Once torn or stretched, the hymen becomes an irregular ring of tissue around the vaginal opening.

Since hymens come in so many shapes and forms, it's important to realize that the hymen is not a reliable indicator of whether a person has been sexually active or not. This is especially true since for some women, the hymen can be stretched or torn by fingers, tampons, sex toys, masturbation, or even at a gynecological exam. For others, using tampons or inserting fingers does not interfere with the tissue at all. Anecdotal evidence also supports the idea that it's possible to tear or stretch the hymen during non-sexual strenuous activity (such as horseback riding, gymnastics, or dance) or from trauma directly to the vaginal area. There are also women whose hymen tissue is so flexible that it moves aside during penetration.

In addition, if a woman's hymen is stretched or torn, she may experience pain or bleeding that generally lasts for a short period of time. Or, she may not show any "signs" or have any discomfort at all.


Do You Have a Burning Question?

Ask a sexual health educator and your question could be featured as the question of the week. Email your questions to NOTE: Questions will be answered on a first come, first served basis and we will answer them as soon as we can. This service should not replace the advice of a medical professional.

Condom Hot Spot

Condom Hot Spot: Hit up the spot before you get hotCondom Hot Spots - stocked with condoms and other safer sex materials - are located in various locations around campus. The Condom Hot Spot program aims to:

  • Increase condom access points on campus for all OSU students
  • Encourage condom use and safer sex practices
  • Increase awareness of available sexual health information and resources

Condom Hot Spots will consist of a small black box, labeled with the Hot Spot logo, and will be located around the OSU campus.

Condom Hot Spots - click on the link for Campus Map location:

Condom Express

The Health Promotion Department at Student Health Services, in conjunction with Male Advocates for Responsible Sexuality (MARS), offers a condom delivery program for students called “The Condom Express.” This free and anonymous service allows Oregon State students that live in the residence halls or co-ops to order contraceptive materials online and have them delivered discreetly in plain packaging through on-campus mail. You can choose between three different options that include male condoms, female condoms, or dental dams. Plus, you have the ability to request non-latex or non-lubricated condoms and flavored lubricants when ordering.

Condom Express is limited to one delivery per term, per student. Free condoms and other safer sex materials are also available at the Health Promotion office (Third Floor of Student Health) and at our Condom Hot Spots, in various locations around campus.

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Sexy Communication

Sexy Communication

>> Communication

Safer Sex

>> Safer Sex

Barrier Methods

>> Barrier Methods

Relationship Expectations

>> Relationship Expectations

Consent is Sexy

>> Consent is Sexy

Needs and Desires

>> Needs and Desires (coming soon!)

Sexual History

>> Sexual History

Sexy Communication Tips

Communication is vital in a healthy sexual relationship, but how do we communicate? What is good communication?

Good communication helps you know what your partner likes and dislikes: Ask what turns your partner on. Likewise, your partner won’t know what you like unless you voice your needs and desires.

Safer sex: Talk with your partner about your preferred method of protection from STIs and pregnancy prevention.

It is important to talk about your sexual history: This can be a good way to figure out if you are at a higher risk for STIs/STDs. You can also talk about whether or not you or your partner have been tested recently.

Consent is sexy: Be sure that you and your partner are on the same page about what activities you are going to enjoy together, and tell your partner if you don’t feel ready to do something. You always have the right to say no. 

Speak for yourself rather than the other person: Approach it this way: "I want to be sure to protect myself AND you." Very few people are going to think it’s a bad thing.

Plan when to have the conversation: NOT IN BED! Not during the act. Here are some example conversations to get you started.

Think before you talk: What do you want, what are your limits, how you are going to protect yourself?

Think talking about sex beforehand will ruin the mood? Think again. It can be a turn on for many people!

Talking about the basics can lead to other topics: It can open the discussion to experimentation and fantasies.

Once you’ve talked about your limits and protection, the real fun begins!

Communication is the best sexual technique – the best way for both parties to get what they want from the sexual relationship.

Be prepared for denial or rejection: You haven’t "lost" anything, just count it as practice.

Practice beforehand what to say to a partner about safer sex: Some people practice on friends or in front of a mirror.

Negotiating with a partner can be awkward at first, but it gets easier.

Consent is Sexy

Consent is a crucial part of every sexual relationship. Even in a long-term, committed, and monogamous relationship, consent must be acquired from both partners before every sexual act. Below is a list of some important aspects of consent. Consent is fun, and can be a sexy part of your bedroom (or other location) adventures!

Consent is “Free,” “Knowing,” and “Enthusiastic”

What is “free” consent?

In a healthy sexual relationship, free consent is given without coercion or threat. Neither partner feels endangered, bullied, or pressured to engage in sexual activity.

What is “knowing” consent?

Knowing consent is given when both parties are aware of the sexual act at hand. Each person is aware of what the other desires in that situation. When someone is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, (s)he is not able to give consent.

What is “enthusiastic” consent?

Enthusiastic consent is expressed through a sincere and excited “yes.” The person genuinely wants to engage in the sexual activity being suggested. Silence or passivity does not imply consent.

Consent is an Ongoing Process

This point is critical to remember. If at any point during the sexual activity one partner feels uncomfortable or does not wish to continue, (s)he has every right to stop the activity. Consent needs to be given before each act and any participant can say “stop,” no matter how excited they seemed about it in the beginning, or how long the two people have been together. No matter how strong the man or woman’s sexual desire, they are responsible for respecting boundaries and maintaining clear communication with their partner. If one partner says “stop” or “no”, their partner must respect their wishes, regardless of how much (s)he wishes to continue. Sexual encounters fundamentally rely on this communication.

Consent Must Be Obtained for Every Sexual Act

Moving from one sexual act to another still requires consent. For example, if two people are engaging in oral sex and one partner wishes to switch to vaginal sex, that partner must obtain consent from their partner to switch to that new activity. Just because (s)he had received consent for oral sex does not mean (s)he obtained consent for vaginal sex. Consent is never implied.

Furthermore, consent needs to be renewed. Simply because two people have had sex before or are in a long-term, committed relationship does not mean that each person has obtained consent for the rest of the relationship. It must be given before every sexual act.

Consent Can Be Fun!

In fact, many people find it sexy. This is the fun part of sex; you get to talk about what you want to do and how you want to do it. You can be creative! Some examples of what your partner might like to hear are:

  • “Wanna have sex?”
  • “I’d really like to _____. Would you be into that?”
  • “Would _____ feel good to you right now?”

These phrases are only examples. To find the best option, ask your partner what phrase(s) they find attractive when being asked for consent. It can become part of foreplay! Remember, communication is the best sexual technique and is the easiest way for both people to get what they want from the sexual experience.

Initiating Consent and Understanding the Response

Once a person has asked for consent from their partner, the next step is receiving it. It is important to watch and listen carefully to your partner’s response after asking if they would like to engage in a certain sexual activity. Silence or passivity does not imply consent.

Below are responses that indicate a clear “no”:

  • Clear “no” non-verbal cues: pulls away, unresponsive, tense
  • Clear “no” verbal cues: silence, “No,” “Um,” “Nah, I’d rather ____,” “I’m not comfortable with that,” “Let’s go to sleep.”

These responses are more ambiguous, or may be difficult to understand:

  • Ambiguous non-verbal responses: distracted, uncomfortable, spacing out, mixed signals, passive, hesitant
  • Ambiguous verbal responses: “Maybe,” “I don’t know,” “I’m tired,” “I’m on my period,” “I guess,” “Sure,” “Okay,” “Yup.”

A clear “yes” response might include one of these:

  • Clear “yes” non-verbal cues: enthusiastic, actively interested and attentive
  • Clear “yes” verbal cues: “Yes!” “I want you now!” “I’m so into that!”

If at any point you are unsure what your partner’s response means, simply ask.

Alcohol and Consent

Alcohol and consent falls under Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 163.315*. Intoxication prohibits consent.  If your partner has consumed alcohol and/or drugs, their “yes” for consent may not be reliable permission. If they seem too impaired to understand what is going on, do not engage in any sexual activity. If you, or your partner, are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs you are still required to obtain consent before engaging in any sexual activity.

Age of Consent

The age of consent falls under ORS 163.345*. The legal age to give consent in the United States is 18 years old. In Oregon, it is legal for two people to engage in sexual activity under the age of eighteen if the two people are less than three (3) years apart.

*Oregon Revised Statues can be found at

Support Resources

If you have had an unwanted sexual experience, these organizations can help:

  • OSU Sexual Assault Support Services: 541-737-7604
  • Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence: 541-754-0110


Works Cited:

Healthy Relationships

Here are important things to keep in mind for your relationship health:

Take the time to be there: It is important to make quality time for the other person. Try turning off the TV and going for a walk with your partner, or relax on the couch and just talk.

Actively listen to your partner: Show interest by asking questions, or just being a sympathetic listener.

Balance your relationship with your other obligations: Be honest about your priorities, and follow through with your commitments.

Let your partner know about the good things, too: Point out positives as well as negatives; it helps to show that you see the things they do right, not just what they do wrong.

No two people are the same: Be willing to make compromises with your partner, but remember that you have a right to stick to your values and beliefs.

Make sure your needs are met, too: You deserve to get what you want from the relationship, and from the other person.

Your partner is human: They can’t always meet all of your needs. Sometimes you have to look outside the relationship for more emotional support, or just someone to vent to about homework. Maintaining other friendships is still important while in a relationship.

Keep your expectations of the other person realistic: Don’t expect the other person to change who they are. Also don’t expect them to know what you are feeling or what you need before you tell them (they aren’t a mind reader). But don’t let your expectations be too low, you deserve someone who respects you and your values.

No one is born an expert: Relationships take practice, and each one is different.

Be yourself: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Talk with each other: Good communication is essential for a healthy relationship.

Is It Love?

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” – Dr. Seuss

Building a Healthy Relationship from the Start

The first months of relationships are usually full of promise and free of conflict. When you are just starting a relationship:

  • Build a foundation of appreciation and respect. Happy couples make a point of noticing even small opportunities to say “thank you” to their partner, rather than focusing on mistakes their partner has made.
  • Explore each other’s interests and passions so that you have a long list of things to enjoy together. Try new things together to expand mutual interests.
  • Establish a pattern of apologizing if you make a mistake or hurt your partner’s feelings.
  • Relationships change over time. What you want from a relationship in the early months of dating may be quite different from what you want after you have been together for some time.
  • Even positive change tends to be stressful, but change is inevitable. Welcoming change as an opportunity to enhance the relationship is more fruitful than trying to keep change from happening.
  • When there is conflict between you and your partner. It is inevitable and normal that there will be times of sadness, tension, or outright anger between you and your partner.

Some keys to resolving conflicts in healthy relationships are self-honesty, and a willingness to consider your partner’s perspective even if you don’t fully understand it.

Resolving Conflicts

Communication and Conflict Resolution

Communication is important but rarely, if ever, are we actually taught HOW to communicate effectively.

Particularly when there are important decisions regarding marriage, sex, career, and family to be made, healthy communication is critical. Here are some things to help you communicate successfully through tough issues.

Establish an Atmosphere of Emotional Support

Emotional support for each other is critical. Emotional support means giving your partner the message that you’re behind him or her. This does not mean always agreeing with one another. Emotional support involves accepting your partner’s differences and not insisting that he or she meet your needs only in the precise way that you want them met. Find out how your partner chooses to show his or her love for you and don’t set absolute criteria that require your partner to always behave differently.

It’s All in the Family               

Understanding why or how your partner solves problems the way they do starts with understanding how their family solves problems. Similarly, let them know how you were brought up to solve problems. If you styles don’t match up, you can work together and even find new ways. Here is a great resource to help understand and deal with dysfunctional family styles:

Timing Counts: Sometimes “Right Away” is not the “Best Way”

Research on happy couples suggests that it is important that couples “time” their fights in the way that works best for them. Contrary to previous notions, the best time to resolve a conflict may not always be “right away” or even as soon as possible. A “time-out” period can help you avoid saying or doing hurtful things in the heat of the moment and can help partners more clearly identify what changes are most important. Remember—if you are angry with your partner but don’t yet know what you want, it will be nearly impossible for your partner to figure it out!

Adopt a “Win-Win” Position

A “win-win” stance means that your goal is for the relationship rather than either partner to “win” in a conflict situation. If your partner feels bullied, out-talked, or otherwise the “loser” in a fight, you may win the battle but lose ground in the relationship. Find ways to compromise so that each partner agrees with the solution.

Discuss One Thing at a Time

Bringing up other problems when the first discussion is unfinished can also lead to distance. Do your best to keep the focus on resolving one concern at a time, even if it is tempting to “list” other concerns or grievances; putting all your gripes out at once can be overwhelming and greatly escalate the discussion to a fight.

Outside Pressures on a Relationship

Differences in Background

Even partners coming from very similar cultural, religious, or economic backgrounds may find it important to discuss their expectations of how a “good” boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse behaves. What seems “obvious” or “normal” to you may surprise your partner and visa versa. If you are from different backgrounds, be aware that you may need to spend more time and energy to build your relationship. It may be important to take the time to learn about your partner’s culture or religion, being careful to “check out” what parts of such information actually “fit” for your partner.

Time Together and Apart

Time spent apart and time spent together is a common relationship concern. You enjoy time together, but you also may enjoy time alone or with other friends. If you interpret your partner’s time apart from you as, “he or she doesn’t care for me as much as I care for him or her,” you may be headed for trouble by jumping to a premature conclusion. “Check out” with your partner what time alone means and share your feelings about what you need from the relationship in terms of time together. Perhaps you can reach a compromise where you get more time together while leaving your partner the freedom to be alone or with others without your feeling rejected or neglected. Demanding what you want, regardless of your partner’s needs, usually ends up driving your partner away.

Your Partner’s Family

For most college students, their families remain an important source of emotional, if not financial, support during their years at the university. Some people find dealing with their partner’s family difficult or frustrating. You may wonder how you can have a good relationship with them, or if you should even try! It can be helpful to take a mental step back and think about parental good intentions. Let’s assume at the very beginning that most parents are concerned about their children and that they want to stay in contact with them. Problems sometimes arise when parents forget that their children are individuals with separate lives, who are making their own decisions. People come from varied backgrounds, and families may offer well-intentioned advice about your relationship or your partner. It’s important that the two of you discuss and agree how you want to respond to differing family values and support one another in the face of what can be very intense “suggestions” from family.


There are some people who seem to believe that “If I’m in a relationship, I have to give up all my personal friends unless my partner likes them as much as I do.” Giving up friends may not be healthy for you or the relationship, except in circumstances where your friends pressure you to participate in activities such as drug or alcohol use that are damaging to yourself and the relationship. Neither should it be assumed that your partner will enjoy your personal friends as much as you do. Just as with other areas in a relationship, you can negotiate which friends you and your partner spend time with together. You might ask: “Which of my friends do you enjoy seeing and which ones would you rather I see alone or at other times when I’m not with you?” Talk with your partner about friendships with others, negotiate any concerns and recognize that each of you may need to continue your friendships even when you are intimately involved with one another.

Relationships with Special Concerns/Challenges

Strong, loving relationships come in many different forms. Cross-cultural or inter-racial couples, same-sex couples, relationships where one partner has a disability, and long-distance relationships are but a few examples of relationships that involve additional challenges beyond those discussed in here.

Sexy Role Play

Here are some tips to boost your confidence in negotiating safer sex.

  • Talk to your partner about using protection before getting intimate: This will help you both be more comfortable and prepared to use a condom or dental dam when the time comes.
  • Practice makes perfect: The best way to learn how to use condoms correctly and guarantee their effectiveness is to practice putting them on yourself or your partner.
  • If you are concerned about the interruptions of using either condoms or dental dams, try to incorporate them into your foreplay. By helping your partner put on protection together, you both will stay aroused without spoiling the moment.
  • Remember that you can get FREE condoms, dental dams, female condoms, finger cots, lubrication, sexual health information and resources at Student Health Services, Room 337, as well as Condom Hot Spot locations on campus.
  • It might be helpful to have condoms/dental dams around, so when thing start to really heat up, you will be ready.

Source: modified from

Some Sexy Role Play Examples

There are several strategies you can employ when trying to get your partner to use a barrier method:

Strategy #1: Respect – Acknowledge your partner’s concerns.

If your partner says... “Condoms ruin sex for me; I just can’t feel anything with those things.”

Possible response... “I understand what you’re saying, and I want you to enjoy our time together. Could we try using lubricant to see if that helps?”

Strategy #2: Education – Be knowledgeable about sexual risks.

If your partner says... “I wouldn’t care even if you did have the virus, we’ve had sex before and I’ve never got it; it’s my decision.”

Possible response... “I’ve been trying to educate myself about this virus, and I now regret that we ever had unprotected sex. Using latex is for the protection of both of us, so it’s not just your decision. Actually, it’s possible that either, or both of us, already have the virus because it might take up to six months for the test to say we’re HIV-positive. It’s also possible for us to give each other different kinds of infections that we may not even know we have.”

Strategy #3: Perseverance – Offer an alternative point of view when faced with resistance.

If your partner says... “Oral sex is safe. I don’t think either of us wants to be covered in latex for oral sex.”

Possible response... “On the other hand, why take chances with our health. Actually research has shown that oral sex isn’t as safe as it was once believed to be. We’ve never used flavored condoms for oral sex. It could be fun. Maybe we should give it a try.”

Strategy #4: Eroticizing latex – Incorporate latex into loving making.

If your partner says... “Stopping to put on a condom ruins the mood; it really turns me off.”

Possible response... “I know ways to use condoms that will actually get you more turned on. Let me show you.”

Strategy #5: Bargain – Reach a mutually satisfying outcome.

If your partner says... “I want to have sex with you, but I don’t want to use a condom.”

Possible response... “I want to have sex with you, too. So we definitely want the same thing. So why don’t we try using the lubricant with the condom to see if we can make it feel good for you? That way we’ll both get what we want and in the process we’ll be showing that we care about each other’s health.”

Sources: Casey, M.K., Timmermann, L., Allen, M., Krahn, S., Turkiewicz, K.L. (2009). Response and Self-Efficacy in Condom Use: A Meta-Analysis of this Important Element of AIDS Education and Prevention. Southern Communication Journal, 74(1), pp. 57-78. Lam, A.G., Mak, A., Lindsay, P.D., Russell, S.T. (2004). What Really Works? An Exploratory Study of Condom Negotiation Strategies. AIDS Education and Prevention, 16(2), pp 160-171.

Sexual Health Bill of Rights

It’s up to you to get what you want from sex and to avoid what you don’t want. Get to know yourself, and know your body. Know what you want out of the sexual relationship. What do you find sexually appealing? What feels good to you? What are your limits? Know what kinds of things you are willing to participate in and what things you won’t within a sexual relationship.

Create your own Sexual Health Bill of Rights. Here are some examples:

  • I have the right to own my own body.
  • I have a right to my own feelings, beliefs, opinions and perceptions.
  • I have a right to trust my own values about sexual conduct.
  • I have a right to set my own sexual limits
  • I have a right to say no.
  • I have a right to say yes.
  • I have a right to experience sexual pleasure.
  • I have a right to remain celibate.
  • I have a right to be sexually assertive.
  • I have a right to be the initiator in a sexual relationship.
  • I have a right to be in control of my sexual experiences.
  • I have a right to have a loving partner.
  • I have a right to my sexual orientation and preferences.
  • I have a right to have a partner who respects me, understands me, and is willing to communicate with me.
  • I have a right to talk to my partner about incest/child sexual abuse/rape.
  • I have a right to ask questions and receive accurate sexual information.

Safer Sex

Safer sex means protecting yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and unplanned pregnancy. Safer sex can also mean deciding to abstain from sexual intercourse or finding other forms of sexual expression that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids.

OSU Sex StatsGet Dressed Before You Get Down

Every two years we survey students on their sexual health behaviors as well as a whole host of other health behaviors. Here are the survey results from Spring 2012:

  • 25 percent of OSU students weren’t sexually active within the last year
  • 75 percent of students had one or more partners during the last year
  • But out of that 75 percent who are sexually active, 44 percent of them had only had one partner during the last year

Of those that are sexually active:

  • 50 percent has had oral sex within the last 30 days
  • 55 percent has had vaginal intercourse in the last 30 days and
  • 5 percent has had anal sex in the past 30 days

NOTE: There is a big discrepancy between how much sex people think everyone else is getting and what students are actually reporting.

Continuum of Risk

There are varying levels of risk involved with sexual activities.


  • Kissing
  • Masturbation or mutual masturbation
  • Cyber-sex, fantasy, or phone sex
  • Touching or massage
  • Fondling or body rubbing
  • Using clean sex toys


  • Manual stimulation of one another
  • Vaginal intercourse with a condom or female condom
  • Anal intercourse with a condom or female condom
  • Oral sex on a man with a condom
  • Oral sex on a woman with a dental dam or non-microwavable plastic wrap


  • Vaginal intercourse without a condom
  • Anal intercourse without a condom

Lower Your Risk of STIs and Unwanted Pregnancy

Safer Sex Learning Module


Birth control pillsWhen you are choosing a contraception method, the first thing you should do is establish a relationship with an SHS provider, or someone in Corvallis or from your home community. They will be your best resource for contraceptive information.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Your overall general health
  • How often you have sex
  • The number of sexual partners you have
  • If you ever want to have children
  • The effectiveness of each method
  • Side effects of each method
  • Your comfort level when using the method

What is the Difference Between a Barrier Method and a Hormonal Method?

Barrier Methods: Barrier methods are methods of contraception that work by preventing contact with sexual fluids. Using some form of plastic, usually latex or polyurethane, fluids are blocked, thus preventing transmission of STIs as well as pregnancy. The main types of barrier methods are the male condom, the female condom, and dental dams.

Hormonal Methods: There are many methods of hormonal contraception, the most popular of which is the combination birth control pill. Basically it is a method of birth control that changes a woman's hormonal cycle to prevent ovulation.

Non-Barrier/Non-Hormonal Methods

Some choose a non-barrier/non-hormonal method. These offer no protection against STIs or pregnancy:

Rhythm Method: This method is based on the woman’s menstrual cycle. This can be ineffective if there are any fluctuations in her monthly cycle.

Withdrawal: Withdrawing the penis just prior to ejaculation is also not very effective. Timing withdrawal is difficult, and there can be up to half a million sperm in the drop of fluid at the tip of the penis. Also, concentrating on timing the withdrawal may interfere with the male's ability to relax and enjoy sex.

Barrier Methods

Barrier methods of contraception offer different levels of protection. Some protect only against unwanted pregnancy; others protect only against sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and some protect against both STIs and pregnancy.

How to Use a Male Condom

The male condom is rolled over the erect or hardened penis. 

  1. Condoms should not be used with oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, Vaseline, or mineral and vegetable oil. Such lubricants damage the condom.
  2. Check the expiration date and make sure the package is still airtight. Open carefully.
  3. Make sure the rim of the rolled up condom is facing outward and place it on the head of the penis/object.
  4. Pinch the tip to leave room for ejaculate.
  5. Roll condom to base of penis/object.
  6. Enjoy the action. When finished, hold base of condom while pulling out.
  7. Remove condom and throw in trash (do not flush).

Remember, practice is important to ensure proper use!

How to Use a Female Condom

Remove the condom from its package and rub the outside of the pouch together to be sure the lubrication is evenly spread within it. Be sure that the inner (smaller) ring is at the bottom (closed) end of the pouch, and then hold the pouch with the open (larger) end hanging down.

Squeeze the inner ring with the thumb and middle finger, and then insert it and the pouch into the vaginal opening. With the index finger, push the inner ring and pouch all the way up into the vagina against the cervix

The penis should be guided into the condom in order to ensure that it does not slip into the vagina outside of the condom. After intercourse squeeze and twist the outer ring gently and then pull the condom out keeping the semen inside. Then simply discard as you would a male condom.

Remember, practice is important to ensure proper use! Learn more about female condoms (PDF).

Other Barrier Methods

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal methods of contraception protect against unwanted pregnancy, but not sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Here is information on each form of hormonal contraception.

The Pill (Oral Contraceptives; Birth Control Pills)

  • Combined effects of synthetic hormones called estrogen and progestin.
  • Estrogen decreases production of the hormone that helps develop the ova within the ovaries.
  • Progestin prevents the proper growth of the uterine lining and thickens the cervical mucus forming a barrier against sperm.
  • Pills can be progestin only or a combination of estrogen and progestin.

The Shot (Depo-Provera)

  • Injectable progesterone that lasts for three months and prevents ovulation.

The Patch (Ortho Evera)

  • Worn for a week at a time for three weeks, then no patch for three weeks.
  • Can be worn on the buttocks, abdomen, upper torso or upper arm.

The Ring (NuvaRing)

  • Inserted into the vagina and left in place for three weeks.

Emergency Contraception

  • Combination progestin and estrogen or just progestin; but it’s concentrated enough to interrupt a women’s normal hormonal patterns and prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse has already occurred.
  • Works better if taken right away, but can be taken for up to five days after unprotected sex.
  • Progestin only pill (Plan B) reduces risk of pregnancy by 89 percent.
  • Combined pills reduce the chances by 75 percent.
  • Is available over the counter at the SHS Pharmacy.

STIs and HIV

Translated Documents

Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Student Health Services offers complete STI testing services for OSU students. They are always confidential. To schedule appointments, call 541-737-WELL (9355).

Know you are not alone: STIs are sexually transmitted infections that affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and from all walks of life - in the U.S. alone there are about 19 million new cases each year, about half of which occur among youth ages 15-24 years.

Get Yourself Tested

You should get tested for STIs if any of the listed risk factors apply to you:

  • You have unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex;
  • A condom breaks;
  • Your partner has or has had an STI;
  • You or your partner inject street drugs;
  • You have a new sex partner;
  • You have had more than one partner in the past six months;
  • Your partner has or had sex with another person;
  • You have sex under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol; or
  • You are unable to communicate with your partner about your sexual history and ways to reduce risks.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that there are more than 25 STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in existence. Listed here are the eight most common STIs in the United States. Click on a specific STI below to learn more.

Genital HPV Infection:



Genital Herpes:


Hepatitis B:



Where can I get an HIV test?

Testing for HIV is available at Student Health Services. A fee will be charged. Call 541-737-9355 to schedule an appointment.

The tests commonly used to detect HIV infection look for antibodies produced by your body to fight HIV. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months after infection, the average being 20 days. In rare cases, it can take 6-12 months. If you are concerned that you may have HIV, please get tested again.

Free and anonymous HIV testing is available at the following Corvallis locations:

First Christian Church
602 SW Madison Ave., Room 17
Tuesdays from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (Enter from rear of church)

Westminster House
101 NW 23rd St.
Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Day Center
2685 NW Taylor St.
Thursdays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (By appointment only; call 541-740-0405)

You need not bring anything; testing is completely free and anonymous. The results of the blood test will be available in about 20 minutes.

What is the difference between anonymous and confidential testing?

Anonymous Confidential

No personal information (such as name or Social Security number) is associated with the test result.

You receive no written documentation, but will hear what your result is from the counselor.

May be necessary if you need documentation of your HIV status, such as those entering the military or Peace Corps.

The test result becomes a part of your medical record.

Sources for information on this page: CDC Division of STD Prevention and American Social Health Association


Abstinence is the only 100-percent foolproof method of preventing STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

What is Abstinence?

  • Deciding not to participate in sexual activity
  • Waiting for the right person, time and place
  • Finding ways to be intimate with someone without the exchange of bodily fluids
  • Abstinence can last for an evening or for years.

Abstinence can mean different things for people depending on that person’s definition of sex.

So if you choose to be abstinent, that’s great, you are doing the best thing you can do to protect yourself from unplanned pregnancy and STI’s. Here are a few things you can do to maintain your decision to abstain from intercourse:

  • Discover societal pressures that influence your choices
  • Avoid high pressure sexual situations
  • Take ownership of your personal rights in sexual relationship
  • Decide in advance what sexual activities you will and won’t participate in and discuss these with your partner (not in bed)
  • Learn more about your body and how to keep it healthy
  • Learn more about available birth control methods should you choose to have intercourse and have back-up methods available
  • Learn about STIs; the signs and symptoms and how to protect yourself

So even if you are not having sex right now, it’s still good to review the information in the rest of these pages so that you are ready when you do decide to engage in sexual activity.


MARS is an inclusive LGBT-friendly program

The mission of Male Advocates for Responsible Sexuality (MARS) is to support men in taking a responsible role in promoting equality and cooperation in relationships, pregnancy and infection prevention, and overcoming stereotypical gender roles.

The goal of the MARS program is to increase male involvement in responsible decision making regarding sexual health among males. We believe that this can be accomplished by helping men to learn more about reproductive health in a safe environment from positive male role models.

MARS uses two strategies to achieve its goal: educational outreach and individual clinic consultations.

The core philosophies of the male involvement movement include:

  • Males have unique reproductive and sexual health needs that historically have not been addressed.
  • Males need to be treated as individuals, not just as partners.
  • Addressing men’s reproductive and sexual health creates a win-win situation for men, their partners, and their families.

MARS Incentive Program

MARS offers an opportunity for young men to attend a free MARS appointment at OSU’s Student Health Services. A MARS appointment is an individual sexual health consultation with a MARS outreach worker. It provides an opportunity to speak to a peer in a confidential and comfortable environment and discuss sexual health issues including:

  • Relationships
  • Testicular self-exams
  • Questions or concerns regarding sexual health
  • Abstinence and contraceptive methods
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted infections

Young men who schedule and attend a MARS appointment will receive a $20 gift card for Fred Meyer. Appointments are completely confidential and voluntary.

Information and Appointments

To set up an individual appointment with a MARS outreach worker, call the Health Promotion Department at 541-737-2775 and let them know you would like to make an appointment with MARS. If you have any other questions, MARS outreach workers can also be contacted directly by e-mail at

To request a presentation for your class or organization by a MARS outreach worker, use the online Program Request Form.

Health Promotion Department
OSU Student Health Services
337 Plageman Building
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-2775


Reproductive health funding and services have historically targeted females. This focus has been successful in reducing teen pregnancy and some sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates significantly. However, the United States continues to have epidemic proportions of unintended pregnancies and STIs, including HIV/AIDS. While studies have shown that men have different attitudes and expectations than women about healthcare, they still have reproductive health concerns and needs.

Statistics confirm these needs:

  • Less than 25 percent of American males are sexually experienced by age 15, but by age 20, 9 out of 10 males have had intercourse. (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2002)
  • By their late teenage years, just over 2 in 10 sexually experienced men have had only one partner, and almost 3 in 10 have had six or more. (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2002)
    Forty-three percent of a sample of college males reported using condoms incorrectly. (Crosby et al, 2002)
  • Over the past 36 years, on average only 2-4 percent of Title X family planning clinic patients have been males. (Department of Health and Human Services, 2003)

Information and Appointments

To set up an individual appointment with a MARS outreach worker, call the Health Promotion Department at 541-737-2775 and let them know you would like to make an appointment with MARS. If you have any other questions, MARS outreach workers can also be contacted directly by e-mail at

To request a presentation for your class or organization by a MARS outreach worker, use the online Program Request Form.

Health Promotion Department
OSU Student Health Services
337 Plageman Building
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-2775

MARS Outreach Workers

The MARS outreach workers are male college students. They have been carefully selected to work for the MARS program based on their leadership skills and strong belief in the MARS mission and goals. The MARS outreach workers receive a comprehensive four-day training on the field of sexuality and the MARS curriculum. In addition, they receive regular updates on current sexuality information.

Information and Appointments

To set up an individual appointment with a MARS outreach worker, call the Health Promotion Department at 541-737-2775 and let them know you would like to make an appointment with MARS. If you have any other questions, MARS outreach workers can also be contacted directly by e-mail at

To request a presentation for your class or organization by a MARS outreach worker, use the online Program Request Form.

Health Promotion Department
OSU Student Health Services
337 Plageman Building
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-2775

Relationship Resources

Condom conversations

Recommended Reading

  • Fanning, Patrick, Matthew McKay & Martha Davis. Messages: The Communication Skills Book. New Harbinger, 1995.
  • Gottman, John M. & Nan Silver. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Three Rivers Press, 2000.
    Purcell, Maud. "The 10 Secrets of Happy Couples." Retrieved 8/26/02, from, Dr. John Grohol's Mental Health Page. Used with permission.

Useful Web Sites

Sexual Health Exams

Testicular Exam

Testicular cancer occurs most often in males aged 15-34. That is why it is important to learn how to look for testicular cancer.

  • The best time to examine yourself is in the morning after a shower.
  • Your testicles should feel round, smooth, and firm. They may be different sizes.
  • You are looking for any lumps (no matter how small) or swelling in your testicles.
  • When feeling your testicles, feel them one at a time by rolling your testicle between your thumb and fingers.
  • Cup your scrotum and look for any change, redness, swelling, or unusual feeling of heaviness.
  • The epididymis is a cord like structure at the top and back of the testicle. Carefully check this area for swelling and painful tenderness.
  • If you notice any lumps or swelling, or if you feel pain or tenderness inside the testicle when it is lightly touched, you should see your doctor immediately.

Annual Exam/Pap Smear

Gynecological health care is essential for all women regardless of age, sexual orientation, marital status, sexually active or not. An annual pelvic exam (including a breast exam and often a Pap smear) is recommended for all women at 21. A Pap smear is a screening test for cancer of the cervix. This test can show early signs of cell changes that can lead to cancer. A sample of cells is taken from the surface of your cervix during a pelvic examination and examined under a microscope at a laboratory. This service is provided by “appointment only.” The Pap smear can be done regardless of menstrual flow. Avoid vaginal medication, lubricants, vaginal contraceptives, or douches for 48 hours before your exam. It is recommended to avoid sexual intercourse for 24 hours prior to the exam, but it is not necessary to reschedule if intercourse has occurred.

New national guidelines now advise waiting until age 21 to begin Pap screening for detection of cervical cancer regardless of when the patient becomes sexually active. However, clinicians who provide women’s health care at SHS will continue to offer annual exams to women of all ages. While the clinician may not do a Pap or even a physical exam during these visits, the visits are opportunities to screen for STIs, review available immunizations, discuss birth control and provide other important preventative health care and education. Please call 541-737-9355 if you have further questions.

What to Expect at Your Annual Exam

  • Review of personal and family's health history
  • Blood pressure and weight check
  • Contraceptive discussion/options if needed
  • Review of your immunizations
  • Discussion and testing for Sexually transmitted infections as desired
  • Physical exam including breast and pelvic exam for those over age 21 and if desired for those under age 21
  • Pap smear screening for cervical cancer for those age 21 and older
  • Review of healthy lifestyle/habits

Pelvic Exam

You will be asked to place your feet in the footrests at the end of the table. Slide your hips down to the edge of the table. Let your knees spread wide apart, and relax as much as possible. The more you are relaxed, the more comfortable, the exam will be. You can cover your lower abdomen and thighs with the drape sheet to feel less exposed.

The exam lasts just a few minutes. First there will be an external genital exam. The clinician visually examines the folds of the vulva and the opening of the vagina to check for signs of irritation, discharge, cysts, genital warts, or other conditions. Next, the clinician inserts a metal or plastic speculum into the vagina. When opened, it separates the walls of the vagina, which normally are closed and touch each other, so that the cervix can be seen. You may feel some degree of pressure or mild discomfort when the speculum is inserted and opened. Once the speculum is in place, the Pap smear is collected by rotating a soft brush on the cervix. The clinician also checks for any irritation, growth, or abnormal discharge from the cervix. Tests for sexually transmitted infections may be taken by collecting cervical mucus on a swab. These tests may not be done unless you have a concern about infections and ask for testing. Lastly, wearing an examination glove, the clinician inserts one or two lubricated fingers into the vagina and places the other hand on top of your lower abdomen, while feeling for any abnormalities that might have occurred since your last pelvic exam. The clinician checks the size, shape, and position of the uterus for changes in your ovaries.

Remember, talk with your clinician about your concerns or fears. If you feel pain, tell the clinician.


Symptoms of Pregnancy

The most commonly observed symptom is a missed menstrual period. Other early symptoms of pregnancy may include:

  • Light period or intermenstrual spotting
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Increased or decreased appetite

Remember, you can become pregnant at almost any time: even during your menstrual period. No birth control method is 100 percent effective, especially if used incorrectly or inconsistently. The only way to be certain whether or not you a pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you think you might be pregnant, arrange for a test with a SHS gynecologist.

The Student Health Center uses tests that detect pregnancy by measuring Human Chorionic dotropin (HCG) in the urine or the blood as early as 10-12 days after conception. If you are using a hormone birth control method (pills, deprovera, Norplant) and you miss a period, see a practitioner before doing a pregnancy test.

“So, am I pregnant?”

Most of the time we can answer either “Yes” or “No.” Occasionally, the test may have to be repeated to provide a conclusive answer because initial tests, if done too soon, may fail to detect pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, we will discuss your choices with you (or with you and your partner). Counseling is provided for prenatal, adoption, or abortion referral.

Feel free to contact us with your questions, concerns or to arrange for a test. All information is confidential.

Sexual Health Advisory Group

Sexual Health Advisory Group


Mission of the Sexual Health Advisory Group (SHAG)Condom test while wearing beer goggles

SHAG strives to provide a forum in which members of the OSU community can work toward establishing effective and comprehensive sexual health programming. Key features include:

  • Brainstorming, discussion, and creation of sexual health projects/ideas/events
  • A focus to improve the scope and reach of sexual health programming for OSU students, and to ensure comprehensive and inclusive content.
  • Fostering relationships, community building, and program support for individuals with a common interest in sexual health
  • Enabling communication and partnerships across different OSU student groups and organizations


  • Meetings will be every week for one hour each, at Student Health Services.
  • Please be able to commit for an entire term.
  • Participate and collaborate on sexual health outreach projects, events and activities for the OSU student community.


Contact to get involved, or learn more about SHAG (PDF). Come share, laugh and create sexual health programming for OSU!

Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention

For support services, contact:

Sexual Assault Help Line
SASS (OSU Sexual Assault Support Services)
Phone Help Line: 541-737-7604 (8-5 M-F)

Sexual Assault Crisis Line
CARDV (Center Against Rape & Domestic Violence)
24-hour Hotline: 541-754-0110

Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service
For support in Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and traditional Chinese.

WARNING! Your Internet activity can be tracked. If the person who is harming you has access to your computer, please consider using a more secure computer such as at the library.

If you need immediate assistance, call 9-1-1.

If you have been sexually assaulted and want to have an on-campus medical examination, contact:

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
Student Health Services
Plageman Building

For more information regarding sexual violence awareness/prevention, contact:

Robert C. Reff, Ph.D.
Student Health Services

One Act

The problem is not how much you care about your friends.

The problem is not how protective you are of your partner.

The problem is not how much fun you have on Friday night.

The problem is not your good intentions.

The problem is choosing not to take action.

“It is not my responsibility.”

“I am a little tipsy too.”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“I might embarrass myself.”

“Her friends are probably here somewhere.”

“I don’t want to make it worse.”

One Act is a new Student Health Services education initiative that will provide members of the Oregon State community with the skills they need to prevent, recognize, and intervene in high-risk situations.

How Can I Help?

To learn more, please contact Jenny Haubenreiser at

One act could mean one less. What will your one act be?

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is anytime anyone does anything of a sexual nature without consent. Each person's experience of sexual violence can be different. The following definitions are intended to provide a framework to understand sexual violence.

Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Penetration can be by a body part or an object.

Rape victims might be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone can be a victim of rape: women, men, or children, straight or gay.

Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. Be Aware: some states use this term interchangeably with rape.


If you are a survivor of sexual assault, learn about your options for making a report at

You can receive an on-campus medical examination by a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at Student Health Services. Call 541-737-9355 or come to the Student Health Center in the Plageman Building during regular clinic hours.

Relationship Violence

Sexual violence also includes relationship violence. Relationship violence, as in all forms of sexual violence, is driven by the need for power and control. This need for power and control is often demonstrated by emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

Relationship violence includes any behaviors, statements, gestures, activities, thoughts, feelings or intentions that batterers use to exert coercive power and control over their partners. For an illustrated explanation, see the Power Wheel.

The main tactics of control are:

  • Using physical abuse
  • Threats
  • Sexual abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Intimidation
  • Denial, blaming
  • Isolation
  • Emotional abuse

How Do I Help A Friend?

The most important thing that you can do to help a friend is to first keep yourself safe. It is also important to know resources that will be able to support and assist your friend with specific questions.

For immediate assistance call 9-1-1 or the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 541-754-0110. For questions Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., OSU Sexual Assault Support Services is also available at 541-737-7604.

Here are some guidelines to assist in supporting a friend in a violent relationship: 

  • Keep yourself safe.
  • Be patient.
  • Believe her or him.
  • Know the available resources.
  • Know your limits.
  • Do not vilify the person harming your friend.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, learn about your options for making a report at



Stalking is a crime and should be taken seriously.

Stalking is a willful course of conduct that will cause a person to be afraid or intimidated.

Oregon's definition of stalking...

A person knowingly alarming or coercing another person by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact with another person (CARDV 2006).

Examples of Stalking Behaviors

  • Following a person
  • Appearing at a person's home, classroom or place of business
  • Making harrassing phone calls, text messages, emails or letters
  • Leaving gifts
  • Threatening or injuring loved ones or pets
  • Relocating personal items (such as car mirrors, welcome mats, etc.)
  • Vandalizing a person's property

Four Criteria of Stalking

Please note: A safety plan should be in place PRIOR to notice being given to the stalker.

Unwanted repeated behaviors such as phone calls, e-mails, chat room, waiting outside of office, leaving messages, flowers, etc.

The negative effect the unwanted behavior is having upon the targeted individual.

Reasonable-ness: would other reasonable people be uncomfortable, afraid, or intimidated by the unwanted behavior?

Notification: Communication that the stalker's behavior is unwanted and should stop. Communication can come from sources other than the person experiencing the stalking, such as law enforcement. Please remember that a safety plan should be in place prior to notification.

For more information about creating safety plans, please contact:

OSU Sexual Assault Support Services at 541-737-7604 or the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 541-754-0110.

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, learn about your options for making a report at


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What is Every1?

Every1 is a passionate and dedicated group of peer educators. This committed group of men and women educate on sexual violence awareness in various ways on the OSU campus. Every1 actively engages the campus community in educational programs and discussions on topics such as stalking, sexual assault, and relationship violence. Every1 also assists in organizing events such as Take Back the Night and other activities during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The mission of the Every1 Sexual Violence Awareness Educators is to create a campus environment where all people are aware of the realities of sexual violence, are supportive to survivors, and have the skills to prevent the perpetration of sexual violence.

Every1 Programs

The Every1 peer educators present programs about consent, masculinity, familiar assault, healthy relations

hips, and looking out for one another's safety during the college experience. Choose from one of these programs:

  • One Act: One act could mean one less person that experiences sexual violence. Students will learn to identify high-risk situations and build the skills necessary to effectively and safely address them.
  • Healthy Relationships 101: This interactive presentation will help students learn the components of healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, and recommend ways to help a friend.
  • Understanding the Realities of Sexual Violence: This presentation provides general information about the dynamics of familiar assault and the realities of sexual violence on college campuses.

To request an Every1 presentation to your campus group or organization, please fill out and submit the Health Promotion Program Request Form.

Becoming an Every1 Peer Educator

  • Complete the application form (PDF).
  • Successfully complete the interview.
  • Successfully complete screening process. 
  • Successfully complete the training sessions.

Sexual Violence Resources

Campus Resources

Oregon State Police

OSU Sexual Assault Resources

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

OSU Sexual Violence Educational booklet (PDF)

LGBTQ Sexual Violence brochure (PDF) - from CAPS

Oregon Resources

Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service (materials in Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese)

National Resources

National Center for Victims of Crime

Educational Resources for Men by Men

Jackson Katz

Byron Hurt 

LGBTQ Resources

The Northwest Network

Community United Against Violence

If you are a survivor of sexual assault, learn about your options for making a report at


Benny iconCollege students report at least two times as many sleep difficulties as the general population. This is of particular concern because poor sleep quality can cause increased tension, irritability, depression, confusion and lower life satisfaction. There is also strong evidence that getting adequate sleep can positively affect academic performance and GPA.

Sleep Quality vs. Quantity

In order to maximize the benefits that sleep provides, students need to consider both sleep quantity AND sleep quality. Experts recommend that young adults aim to achieve 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Additionally, students should remember that sleep quality is actually just as important as – if not more important than – sleep quantity. Sleep quality includes how restful your sleep is and how frequently it is interrupted. Check out Tips for Getting Good Sleep to learn steps you can take to improve your sleep quantity and quality!


Source: Bulboltz, W.C., Loveland, J., Jenkins, S.M., Brown, F., Soper, B., Hodges, J. (2006). College Student Sleep: Relationship to health and academic performance. In College students: Mental health and coping strategies (pp. 1-39). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Sleep Debt

Contrary to many peoples’ beliefs, you cannot repay sleep debt. For example, sleeping 12 hours on the weekend will not replace the sleep lost from only getting four hours on the weeknights. These type of sleep schedule variations cause grogginess, depressed mood, attention and concentration difficulties, and long-term sleep difficulties. If you are going to stay up late one weekend night, it should be Friday. That way you can get back to your normal schedule on Saturday and Sunday, and be ready for Monday morning.

Source: Bulboltz, W.C., Loveland, J., Jenkins, S.M., Brown, F., Soper, B., Hodges, J. (2006). College Student Sleep: Relationship to health and academic performance. In College students: Mental health and coping strategies (pp. 1-39). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Tips for Getting Good Sleep

1. Maintain a regular wake and sleep schedule, even on weekends.

Try to keep wake and sleep times regular, not varying them by more than two hours. This may be difficult on weekends, with the temptation to sleep in, but try to stick with it. Large variations in sleep schedules can have the same effects as getting less than normal amounts of sleep. 1

2. Come up with a regular, relaxing bedtime routine. Examples include taking a hot bath, reading a book or listening to relaxing music.

Your bedtime relaxing routine will help you to separate your sleep time from your daily activities that may cause you excitement, stress and anxiety. Be sure to do these relaxing things away from bright light, and don’t do stimulating activities like homework right before bed. This can be difficult for college students to do, but try to have some down-time between studying and going to bed.

3. Create a sleep-friendly environment.

A sleep-friendly environment is one that is dark, cool, quiet, comfortable and interruption-free. This can be difficult for students living in residence halls, but here are a few suggestions that may help: try hanging a black sheet around your bed, hang up dark curtains, use eye-masks and/or ear plugs, and try “white noise” like fans or humidifiers to cover other noises.

4. Lie down to go to sleep only when sleepy.

If you try to go to bed when you’re not sleepy, you may associate your bed with feeling frustrated about not being able to fall asleep. If you can’t fall asleep after about 15 minutes, get up and go into another room. If you are in a residence hall, get out of bed and do something non-sleep related, but that is relaxing. Return to bed only after you feel sleepy.

5. Use your bed only for sleep and sex.

This may be difficult to do with only limited furniture, but try not to use your bed for doing homework or other activities that can cause you anxiety. This will strengthen the association between your bed and sleep.

6. Don’t eat within two or three hours of your planned bedtime.

Eating or drinking too much before bed can make you feel uncomfortable as you are settling down into bed. Try to avoid heavy meals right before bed and be cautious of spicy foods, as they can cause heartburn, which may prevent you from sleeping.

7. Exercise regularly, but be sure to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.

In general, regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and can improve sleep quality. Be sure not to exercise just before bedtime, as this can actually make it harder to sleep. Try to finish your workout at least three hours before you go to bed.

8. Avoid caffeine before bedtime.

Caffeine is a stimulant. This means it causes your body to be more alert. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda and chocolate) can stay in the body for an average of three to five hours. Even if you don’t think caffeine affects you, it is likely to hinder your sleep quality. Avoiding caffeine within six to eight hours before bed can improve sleep quality.

9. Avoid alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime.

Although many people use alcohol as a sleep aid, it actually decreases sleep quality by increasing night time awakenings. This leads to a night of lighter sleep that is less restful. Nicotine is a stimulant, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. When smokers go to sleep, withdrawal symptoms can also cause poor sleep. Nicotine can also cause problems waking up in the morning and cause nightmares. If you are a smoker, try not to smoke within two hours of bedtime.

10. Limit afternoon naps to one hour or less.

An early afternoon nap may help you get through your day. It is OK to take a short nap after lunch, but don’t nap longer than an hour, and never later than 2:00 or 3:00 p.m.

1. Franklin, B.C., Buboltz, W.C., 2002. Applying sleep research to university students: Recommendation for developing a student sleep education program.

Benny Sleep Posters

Benny's Sleep Tips

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Sleep Assessments

Increase your sleep knowledge by taking these online self-assessments:

These self-assessments should not replace the advice of a medical professional.

Sleep Resources

Campus Resources

Community Resources

Web Resources

Tobacco Cessation

It's never too late to quit. We're here whenever you're ready.

OSU is a smoke-free campus. Student Health Services offers one-on-one tobacco cessation services to students, faculty and staff who are thinking about or have decided to quit using tobacco. These services focus on cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, hookahs, and other types of tobacco. The American Cancer Society states that pairing Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) with a cessation program can double your chances of success.

SHS Tobacco Cessation Program

The program includes:

During your visits you will discuss:

We Make It Easy


If you are not ready to meet with a health educator, the Health Promotion Department at SHS also has a vast array of brochures and health education materials available for students, staff and faculty to assist with tobacco cessation. Please come to Room 337 at SHS for more information. 

Tobacco Use at OSU

In 2010, 3 percent of OSU students smoked cigarettes every day, 3 percent smoked in the last 10-29 days, 7.8 percent smoked in the last 1-9 days and 16 percent had smoked, but not in the last 30 days.

Are You Living in a Fantasy?

Are you living in a fantasy?

Q: What is a nondaily smoker? 

A: A nondaily smoker is someone who smokes less than 30 days in a 30-day period of time. You may think of it as your friend who only smokes on the weekends or at parties, or during high periods of stress.

Smoking factWhile Benton County has one of the lowest rates of smoking in Oregon (10.8 percent), students at Oregon State exceed county rates at 14 percent1 for daily and nondaily smoking.

Approximately 10 percent of OSU students report nondaily cigarette smoking, and 12 percent report nondaily hookah use.1

While college students may view nondaily smoking as low or no-risk for becoming addicted to nicotine, 68 percent of first-time smokers become nicotine dependent.2

Smoking factUse of substances like marijuana or alcohol increases your chances of smoking.

College-age students can experience negative health effects from smoking even at a young age. The lungs do not reach their full size until late teens for females and after the age of 20 years for males. Smoking hampers the development of your lungs, and therefore young smokers experience poor lung function and decreased development of their lungs.3 Consequently, even young smokers are less physically fit and more susceptible to respiratory diseases than nonsmokers.Smoking fact

Respiratory symptoms of young smokers include: wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and increased phlegm production.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, people who smoke die an average of 13 years sooner than nonsmokers and also experience early heart disease and DNA damage that can cause cancer anywhere in the body. Fortunately people who smoke but quit before the age of 30 years will reverse much of the damage caused by tobacco use.4 And the sooner the better!

1. Spring 2012 ACHA-NCHA II Survey
2. Lopez-Quintero, et. al., 2011
3. CASA Columbia, 2007
4. Centers for Disease Control, 2012

Types of Tobacco

Several different forms of tobacco are widely used in the United States. Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars are the most common types of tobacco. Hookah, a less common form of tobacco, has recently become increasingly popular. Check out the following links to find out more about these different forms of tobacco and the harmful effects associated with each type.


Health Risks

Smoking is the single greatest avoidable cause of disease and death. Every year about 438,000 Americans die as a result of smoking or inhaling second hand smoke. About 40 percent of these deaths are from cancer, 35 percent from heart disease and stroke, and 25 percent from lung disease. New studies have shown that about half of all regular cigarette smokers die of a smoking-related illness. Smoking not only harms your lungs, it negatively affects nearly every organ in the body.

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer, and leads to the most deaths from cancer. These cancers include lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix. Smoking has been shown to cause heart disease, stroke, lung disease, hip fractures and cataracts.

At least 250 of the 4,000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke are known to be harmful. Some of the most toxic chemicals include hydrogen cyanide (used in chemical weapons), carbon monoxide (found in car exhaust), formaldehyde (used in embalming fluid), ammonia (found in household cleaners), and toluene (found in paint thinners).

Regardless of age and duration of smoking, quitting can significantly reduce risk of cancer and greatly improve overall health.

Although smoking rates have declined over the years, more than one in five Americans smoke. In 2004, this included about 21 percent of adults and more than 22 percent of high school students. Among young people ages 18-24 almost 28 percent are smokers. Approximately 26 percent of white, 22 percent of Hispanic and 13 percent of African American high school students currently smoke cigarettes. Of America’s middle school students, about 8 percent are current cigarette smokers.

Benefits of Quitting

  • You will feel better: Your heart rate and blood pressure will drop, you will produce less phlegm, circulation will improve and you will breathe easier.
  • Your energy will improve: More oxygen will reach your heart, lungs and muscles. This will make you feel stronger and more energetic.
  • You will reduce the risk of illness: Your body will be able to fight illnesses such as colds much better.
  • Food will taste better: Your sense of smell and taste will return and your appetite will improve.
  • You will save money: Figure out how much you spend each week on tobacco products, and then multiply that by 52 weeks to find out how much you spend per year. Many people find they are spending about $1,000 per year on tobacco products! Think of something nice to buy with the extra cash you will save.
  • You’ll look better: Your teeth will be whiter and your clothes and breath will smell better.
  • Your self esteem will improve: Quitting will help you feel more control over your life. Depression that is caused by nicotine will lessen. Also, you will feel good because you are doing something to help yourself!
  • You will protect those around you: Quitting will help protect your friends and family from the dangers of second hand smoke.

Better Physical Health: Within…

  • 20 Minutes: Blood pressure decreases, and pulse slows to its normal rate. Temperature in hands and feet increase to normal.
  • 8 Hours: Carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal, and oxygen level increases.
  • 24 Hours: Breath, hair, and body stop smelling like smoke. The chance of having a heart attack begins to decrease.
  • 48 Hours: Damaged nerve endings begin to recover. As a result, senses of taste and smell begin to improve.
  • 72 Hours: The body is virtually free of nicotine. The bronchial tubes relax, making it easier to breathe.
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months: The lungs can hold more air. Exercise becomes easier and circulation improves.
  • 1 Month to 9 Months: Coughing, congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease. Cilia are more effective in cleaning the lungs to prevent infection. Overall energy increases.
  • 1 Year: The risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
  • 5 years: The risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
  • 10 years: The risk of developing lung cancer is cut in half.
  • 15 years: The risk of coronary heart disease drops, usually to the level of non-smoker.

Students can receive free one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling through Student Health Services. Call 541-737-WELL or stop by the SHS to sign up for an appointment.


Smokeless Tobacco

Chewing Tobacco and Snuff

The two main types of smokeless tobacco in the United States are chewing tobacco and snuff. Chewing tobacco comes in three forms; loose leaf, plug and twist. Snuff is finely ground tobacco that can be dry, moist, or in sachets (tea bag-like pouches). Smokeless tobacco is placed in the cheek or between the gum and cheek. Users then suck on the tobacco and spit out the tobacco juices, which is why smokeless tobacco is often referred to as "spit tobacco" or "spitting tobacco."

Smokeless tobacco is a significant health risk and is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco contains 28 known carcinogens. Users increase their risk of heart disease and stroke. The damage to the delicate lining of the mouth and throat can lead to cancer and/or other health problems. For example, oral health problems strongly associated with smokeless tobacco use are leukoplakia (a lesion of the soft tissue that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off) and recession of the gums.

Smokeless tobacco products contain nicotine and are addictive. Quitting smokeless tobacco products is much like quitting smoking. People trying to quit using smokeless tobacco products often have a stronger need for oral substitutes (having something in their mouth) instead of chew or snuff. Quitting will make mouth sores disappear, improve breath and revive taste and smell. Quitting will also drastically decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer.

In the United States, approximately 9 percent of American Indian/Alaska Natives, 4 percent of whites, 2 percent of African Americans, 1 percent of Hispanics and 0.6 percent of Asian-American adults are current users of smokeless tobacco products. Smokeless tobacco use is higher among young white males, American Indians/Alaska Natives and people living in southern and north central states. Usage is also higher in people who are employed in blue collar occupations, service/laborer jobs, or are unemployed. An estimated 10 percent of male high school students and 4 percent of male middle school students are current smokeless tobacco users.

Student Health Services offers free tobacco cessation services for OSU students. All you have to do is call 541-737-WELL or stop by SHS to make an appointment.


Cigars differ from cigarettes in both their size and the type of tobacco used. Cigars vary in size and shape and can be up to 7 inches long. Large cigars contain 5-17 grams of tobacco and can take 1-2 hours to smoke, while the average cigarette contains about 1 gram and take about 10 minutes to smoke. Cigars contain about 100-200 milligrams of nicotine, while cigarettes average about 8.4 milligrams. Premium cigars can each contain the tobacco equivalent of an entire pack of cigarettes. Because of their size, smoking a cigar is like smoking 3-8 cigarettes.

Cigar smoke contains many toxic and carcinogenic compounds that are harmful. Cigars do not have filters to reduce tar and nicotine. Many people smoke cigars only occasionally and most do not inhale the smoke. Smoke enters the mouth, throat and lungs even if you don’t mean to inhale. Smoking a cigar directly exposes the lips, mouth, throat and larynx to harmful compounds. Even holding an unlit cigar between your lips exposes them to carcinogens. When you swallow saliva that contains smoke constituents the esophagus in exposed to carcinogens.

Because of the composition of cigar smoke and the tendency of cigar smokers not to inhale, the nicotine is absorbed predominantly through the lining of the mouth rather than through the lungs. It is important to note that nicotine absorbed through the lining of the mouth is capable of forming a powerful addiction, as demonstrated by the large number of people addicted to smokeless tobacco. Both inhaled and non-inhaled nicotine can be addictive.

An estimated 6.9 percent of African American, 6 percent of white, 4.6 percent of Hispanic, 10.9 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native and 1.8 percent of Asian American adults are current cigar smokers. Fourteen percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle school students are current cigar smokers. In both age groups males report smoking cigars more than females. Cigar smoking occurs primarily among males between ages 35-64 who have higher educational backgrounds and incomes. Today most new cigar users are young adult males ages 18-24. In 2005, cigar sales in the United States rose 15.3 percent and generated more than $2.9 billion in retail sales.

Students can get free one-on-one tobacco cessation help through Student Health Services by calling 541-737-WELL or making an appointment at SHS.


Hookah or water pipe smoking has been practiced for over 400 years, and is often a social activity. There are a variety of names for hookahs, including narghile, argileh, shisha, hubble-bubble, and goza. Hookah tobacco is available is many flavors such as apple, grape, mint and cappuccino.

Using a hookah to smoke tobacco poses a serious potential health hazard to smokers and others exposed to the smoke emitted. Hookah tobacco and smoke contain many toxicants that are known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and other health complications. Even after it has passed through water, the smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and cancer-causing chemicals, that are masked by the sweet flavors of hookah tobacco. Although many hookah smokers believe that this habit is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, hookah smoke still contains nicotine and has at least as many toxins as cigarette smoke.

Hookah smokers face the same health risks as cigarette smokers, including decreased lung functioning, heart disease and lung cancer. In addition to these health risks, irritation from exposure to tobacco juices increases the risk of developing oral cancers. The charcoal used to heat the tobacco also increases risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals. Because hookah smoking is often a social activity, sharing a hookah can increase the risk of transmission of tuberculosis, viruses such as herpes or hepatitis and many other illnesses.

Due to the frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation and length of smoking session, hookah smokers may absorb a higher concentration of toxins. The typical hookah smoking session lasts about one hour and therefore involves inhaling as much as 100-200 times the volume of smoke than you would if you smoked one cigarette.

Students can receive free one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling through Student Health Services. Call 541-737-WELL or stop by the SHS to sign up for an appointment.

Hot Topics in Tobacco

Smoking While Pregnant

Using tobacco products while pregnant can negatively affect your unborn babies’ health. Many toxins found in cigarette smoke are passed to the baby through the placenta. This can deprive the baby of the food and oxygen it needs to develop properly. As a result, babies of mothers who smoke are often underweight. These babies are more likely to need special care and therefore may have to stay longer in the hospital. Some may die at birth or within the first year. Other health risks involved with smoking while pregnant include miscarriage, still births and premature births. According to the American Lung Association, "smoking during pregnancy is estimated to account for 20-30 percent of low-birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of pre-term deliveries and some 10 percent percent of all infant deaths."

Some of the effects of smoking while pregnant may not show up at birth, but may begin as the baby develops. Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) is more common among babies of mothers who smoked while pregnant. Smoking during and after pregnancy may lead to asthma in children. Children of mothers who smoked while pregnant may also have learning difficulties and/or behavioral problems.

If you are pregnant, quitting will greatly improve your health AND your chances of having a healthy baby.

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke contains many of the same chemicals inhaled by the smoker themselves. About 500 chemicals in secondhand smoke are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke; even the smallest amounts can be harmful to your health. Non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30 percent and increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20-30 percent.

Secondhand smoke kills approximately 65 Oregonians each month. Ninety-one percent of Oregonians favor a smoke-free workplace. (Information provided by the Benton County Health Department.)

Children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke. Smoking around children is responsible for many hospitalizations, new cases of asthma, lung infections and is responsible for 40 percent of all SIDS cases.

Light Cigarettes

Light cigarettes are generally low-tar cigarettes. The use of light cigarettes greatly increases as age, education level and income level increases. Because of the light cigarette target market, it is not surprising that women use them much more than men.

Many smokers belive that smoking low-yield or menthol cigarettes is safer than smoking regular cigarettes. Marketing tactics imply that low-yield cigarettes are less harmful. Because many smokers actually block the vents or take bigger puffs when smoking light cigarettes, they may be getting just as much tar and nicotine as from regular cigarettes.

There is no evidence that switching to light cigarettes can help a smoker quit, or improve their health. Smoking light cigarettes is dangerous and poses the same health risks as smoking regular cigarettes.

Students can get free one-on-one tobacco cessation help through Student Health Services by calling 541-737-WELL or making an appointment at SHS.

How to Help Someone Quit

  • Express your own concern about the smoker’s health
  • Acknowledge that the smoker may find it difficult to quit.
  • Be aware that nicotine withdrawals may make them grouchy and irritable; try to be understanding and forgive them.
  • Be encouraging and express your faith that the smoker can quit for good.
  • Give lots of praise and offer rewards for getting through a day, week, or a month without using tobacco products.
  • Offer to do things together that do not involve smoking.
  • Help them out in tough situations like social events and stressful times.
  • Suggest a specific action, such as calling a smoking quit line for help in quitting smoking.
  • Ask the smoker for ways you can provide support.
  • Don’t send quitting materials to tobacco users unless they ask for them.
  • Don’t criticize, nag, or remind the person about past failures.
  • Don’t tell them how easy it was for you or someone else you know who has quit.
  • Don’t use tobacco products around your friend.

Students can get free one-on-one tobacco cessation help through Student Health Services by calling 541-737-WELL or making an appointment at SHS. 

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Individuals who are thinking about quitting should look into Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Nicotine Replacement Therapy can help you with the uncomfortable physical symptoms of withdrawal while allowing you to concentrate on the habit itself. Individuals who use Nicotine Replacement Therapy in combination with support services are likely to be 70 percent more successful in a quit attempt.

There are several NRT options. Costs range from $50-$200 for a one-month prescription, or $15-$55 a month for over-the-counter NRT.

NRT Options 

  • Nicotine Patch: Sold over the counter as an 8-week quit program with decreasing amounts of nicotine as the program progresses. Patches are applied directly to the skin, and are changed daily.
  • Nicotine Gum and Nicotine Lozenge: Both are available over the counter in 2 and 4 mg strengths. They help to substitute oral activity as well as decrease nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is released into the body through the inner lining of the mouth.
  • Nicotine Nasal Spray: Available by prescription only. The spray is similar to nasal decongestant spray, and delivers nicotine through the nasal membranes. Nicotine is delivered into the body more quickly than the gum and lozenges.
  • Nicotine Inhaler: Available by prescription only. The inhaler is designed similarly to fast acting asthma inhalers/puffers. Nicotine is delivered through the lining of the mouth.
  • Prescription Drugs: Varenicline and Bupropion are both prescription drugs approved by the FDA to treat nicotine addiction. Bupropion is an antidepressant marketed as Zyban®, and can be used safely with other nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum. Varenicline, also know as Chantix®, was FDA approved in 2006 to treat nicotine addiction. Ask a doctor for more information about these prescriptions.

All forms of NRT have side effects; most are fairly easy to tolerate. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is not designed to be used while still smoking (or using other tobacco products). It becomes a health concern if you are using NRT as well as using your normal amount of tobacco product. Withdrawal from NRT products is uncommon and most people find it easy to gradually stop using them after they have completely stopped using tobacco products.

Learn more about NRT at the American Heart Association Web site.

**Students can purchase gum and/or patches in the SHS Pharmacy at a reduced cost.

Students can get free one-on-one tobacco cessation help through Student Health Services by calling 541-737-WELL or making an appointment at SHS.   

Self Help

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Why do you want to quit today?
  • How motivated are you to quit using tobacco today?
  • Are there supportive people in your life to help you?
  • What are your major concerns about this attempt to quit? (failure, withdrawal, increased stress, etc.)

Challenges When Trying to Quit

  • Feeling sad or anxious
  • Weight gain: quitting will likely increase your appetite and you may gain weight. It has been shown that people who do gain weight while quitting gain less than 10 pounds. If this is a concern, make sure you get plenty of exercise and try to eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Irritability

Many people find it very difficult to quit using tobacco products. People commonly quit and then find themselves using the product again, especially in the first few weeks or months after quitting. People who use tobacco products after quitting should try to quit again. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip, just remind yourself of the reasons you are quitting, and try again. It may take four or more attempts before you are able to quit for good. Each time you try, you get closer to quitting for good by finding out what works for you and what doesn’t. People who stop smoking for three months or longer have an excellent chance of remaining tobacco free for the rest of their lives.

Tools, Tests and Exercises

It is helpful to complete all of the tests, tools and exercises found in this section of the website. That way you can get a better sense of your personal usage and develop your own strategies to help yourself quit.

Tools to Help You Quit


  • Oregon Tobacco Quit Line offers free quitting information and one-on-one telephone counseling.
  • Call toll-free: 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669)
  • Spanish language line: 1-877-2NO-FUME (1-877-266-3863)


Students can get free one-on-one tobacco cessation help at the Student Health Center. Stop by or set up an appointment by calling 541-737-WELL (9355).

Tobacco and Culture

Advertising Tobacco Products

  • Many tobacco companies have heavily targeted women in their marketing efforts, and several companies have produced cigarettes specifically for women.
  • Some tobacco companies disproportionately advertise to certain racial/minority groups. For example, tobacco brands with names such as Rio, Dorado and American Spirit target American Indians/Alaska Natives much more than any other racial groups.
  • Producing flavored cigarettes is just one tactic tobacco companies have come up with to legally advertise towards youth.
  • Athletes are the largest marketing source for spit tobacco, and are often seen on TV using it during a game.
  • Marketing efforts have portrayed cigars as symbols of a luxuriant and successful lifestyle. Celebrity endorsements, images of attractive women smoking cigars, and product placement in movies have increased the visibility of cigar smoking in American society.

Articles about Tobacco Advertising

Outreach Presentations

The Health Promotion Department at Student Health Services is dedicated to educating students and to providing information regarding a wide variety of health issues. Below are descriptions of the various topics that are covered by Health Promotion. If you would like to have someone from Health Promotion come to your location (residence hall, community, class, etc.) to give a presentation, facilitate a discussion, or provide health education materials, please complete the online Request a Program form. For preparation and planning purposes, please make your request at least two weeks in advance.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

This program focuses on helping students identify negative and harmful consequences of high-risk alcohol use. It acknowledges that abstinence from alcohol is the safest option but not always the most acceptable choice for students. Thus the program focuses on harm reduction as opposed to a “just say no” approach.  The presenters approach this topic in a fun, interactive, positive, and intellectually stimulating manner.

Diversity and Health

This presentation focuses on health and social justice. Topics can include health disparities, health and healing across cultures, worldview, differences in help-seeking behaviors and privilege.


This program covers the fundamentals of exercise, and offers tips on how individuals can initiate or increase their own physical activity. (The Department of Recreational Sports also offers outreach presentations related to exercise and fitness. Learn more about customized group fitness classes at

General Wellness

This presentation goes over the dimensions of health and focuses on the topics that have the biggest impact on academic performance, including alcohol use, exercise, healthy eating, time/stress management, and sexual health.

Group Health Coaching

This interactive experience utilizes the principles of health coaching in a group format. Participants will do goal setting activities, receive general health information and begin to work on a plan to improve one area of their life. Making an individual health coaching appointment after this workshop is highly encouraged.

LGBT Health

This program provides an overview of the health concerns specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Topics covered include mental health, cancer risks, STI rates, and barriers to healthcare access and service equality.

Mental Health: Balance

This workshop will focus on stress and its physical and emotional effects upon the body and mind. Discussion centers on identifying signs of stress and stress management strategies including time management techniques and sleep tips. Participants may also get to experience relaxation techniques if time allows. This workshop can be tailored to focus more specifically on time management or stress management.

Mental Health: Depression/Anxiety

This presentation looks at the causes of depression and anxiety, and how they can hinder daily life. Topics include behavioral strategies to help manage anxiety and depression, and the campus resources available to students.

Mental Health: Relaxation

This workshop focuses solely on relaxation techniques. Participants will experience deep breathing, progressive muscle and guided imagery exercises. This workshop can be combined with yoga exercises if an instructor is available. Loose fitting, stretchable clothing is recommended and participants are encouraged to bring a towel or mat to lie on.

Mental Health: Stress Reduction/Time Management

This presentation provides an overview of the academic impact of stress and its physical and emotional effects upon the body. Discussion centers on identifying the warning signs of persistent stress, management strategies, benefits and barriers to managing stress, campus resources available for students to utilize, and exercises to counteract the effects of stress.

Nutrition: Avoiding Stress Eating

This program addresses the body’s response to stress, eating pattern changes due to stress, strategies to avoid negative eating habits due to stress, and effective ways to cope with unavoidable stress.

Nutrition: Benny’s Best Bets for Good College Health

Eating habits often change in the first year of college. This program discusses the importance of good nutrition for academic and life success, and offers Benny’s tips to achieve stellar nutrition. 

Nutrition: Body Image

This program is an engaging discussion about body image, self esteem and the media’s influence on how we feel about ourselves. Students will leave with a more positive feeling about themselves and their bodies.

Nutrition: Healthy Eating on a Budget

Want to eat healthy but always feel like money is a stretch? This talk is for you! Ways to make your dollar stretch, along with budgeting basics and helpful tips for navigating the grocery store on a budget.

Sexual Health: Men’s Health (MARS student presenters)

This is a safer sex/contraception presentation with a focus on men’s issues.

Sexual Health: Negotiating Safer Sex

This interactive presentation briefly covers safer sex/contraception and then focuses on helping students negotiate healthy sexual communication.

Sexual Health: Safer Sex/Contraception

This interactive presentation covers the definition of sex, the risk continuum, STI’s, risk reduction strategies, and contraception with a focus on condom use.

Sexual Health: Sexversations ®

A card game designed to encourage dialogue around various sexual health issues.

Sexual Health: Women’s Health

This is a safer sex/contraception program with a focus on women’s issues.

Request a Program

The Health Promotion Department at Student Health Services is dedicated to educating students and to providing information regarding a wide variety of health issues. You can find descriptions of each program on the Outreach Presentations page. If you would like to have someone from the department come to your location (residence hall, community, class, etc.) to give a presentation, facilitate a discussion table or provide health education materials, please complete the form provided below. Completing the form completely will expedite the process.

Please do not select more than two (2) topics per presentation. Thank you!

For preparation and planning purposes, please make your request at least two weeks in advance.

Please DO NOT select more than two (2) topics per presentation.

If you are interested in a topic but it's not listed above, please explain what you need.

Please make your request at least two (2) weeks in advance.

Please make your request at least two (2) weeks in advance.

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