IT Sligo students are leading by example in a healthy campus drive at IT Sligo.
One group is warning of the hazards of driving “the morning after the night before.”
Others have been warning about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel.
A third has been putting a spotlight on domestic violence.
The projects have been devised by 4th year students in the Health Promotion and Public Health courses and are supported by the college authorities and Students’ Union.
Last month IT Sligo announced a cross-campus “Healthy Campus Initiative” which commits the college to promoting health and wellness at all levels of its operations.
Students Jessica Coleman, Edel Corrigan and Ciara Walsh designed and developed a website (www.stillhalfcut.com) to highlight the lingering effects of alcohol on morning drivers.
“It is a website that will enable students to estimate a time that will be safe for them to drive the morning after the night before,” Jessica said.
“The website’s results give a rough estimate for the average person,” she explained. “Your actual blood alcohol concentration depends on a variety of additional factors, like genetic makeup, personal health and recent food consumption. So these results are just a guide and no-one should rely on them to decide to drive. Our basic message is: Never drink and drive.”
The second group, comprising Shauna Dempsey, Danny Keohane and Lynn O’Reilly got around 180 students to take part in an “IT Sligo Arrive Alive: Don’t Text and Drive” over a three-day period.
Participants signed on to “Gauging Your Distraction”, a virtual driver game that has been developed by the New York Times interactive team.
Shauna, who is from Ballylinan, Co Laois said: “We decided to focus on mobile phone use because it’s a huge problem and many people aren’t aware of the consequences and how much of a distraction it causes for drivers.
“It’s well documented that people using their phone behind the wheel are up to four times more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents.”
Another trio Miriam Murphy, Kelly Loftus and Tara Khan, launched the SAFE Ireland’s Ireland “Man Up” campaign in the Institute (http://www.manup.ie/ ).
SAFE Ireland is a national organisation representing frontline domestic violence service and its ManUp message is that domestic violence is wrong and can never be tolerated.
Miriam said: “The aim is to encourage men to communicate to other men that intimate partner violence is not acceptable. Men are essential allies in the campaign to end violence against women and children. It cannot be tackled without them.
“We are asking everyone to Man Up to make the campus and our communities safer places for women.”
The three groups have praised support they have received from Student Union Entertainment Officer, Don Donohoe, web designer, Joanne O’Grady, SAFE Ireland, Domestic Violence Advocacy Service – Sligo, Leitrim and Wes Cavan, IT Sligo lecturer Máire McCallion and local businesses which sponsored their initiatives.
Sligo-based Garda Louise Keogh and Dr Jerry Bird, Head of the School of Science at IT Sligo, were on hand to congratulate students (l-r) Edel Corrigan, Jessica Coleman, Ciara Walsh on the launch of their www.stillhalfcut.com anti-drink drive initiative.
At the launch of the “IT Sligo Arrive Alive: Don’t Text and Drive” project were Danny Keohane (right) and Mark McGoldrick, with Lynn O’Reilly (right) and Shauna Dempsey.
Organisers and student participants with representatives of SAFE Ireland and Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (DVAS) for Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan at the launch of the ManUp project