Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In the words of Satan

Part 3: Student's Testimony

Drinking. It’s been the hot topic lately. I’ve heard many disappointed remarks saying they want new reasons why we should abstain from drinking and more personal stories instead of their distant relative’s story. Here’s mine*.
I threw on a hot outfit, snuck out of my house, trudged though my neighbor’s backyards (so nobody would see me walk in our street and tell my parents), hopped a fence to get into the adjacent park and stepped into my dream car owned by a hot guy four years older than me. Our destination? To his friend’s house to get drunk.

It was a small kickback with five of his buddies (whom I didn’t even know). We spent most of the time listening to music, playing beer pong, hanging out, and flirting. Of course we had a fun time! I consumed approximately two beers during the game and I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t realize that drunkenness from beer is delayed and so I asked for more alcohol. I had a shot of Vodka and that did it for me, I was drunk. For a first-timer, not knowing of the delay is dangerous because it can lead to alcohol poisoning when he or she drinks more in order to get drunk.

A common reason for avoiding alcohol is the embarrassment from acting stupid while being drunk. But that never happened to me. Some people don’t like not being able to remember the night. But that didn’t happen to me either. I didn’t experience any memory loss regarding my drunken actions. Another reason to abstain is the vomiting all night and hangover the next morning. But neither of those two happened to me. Other reasons we often hear are the medical complications that come later in life. But we have so much time until then that many of us brush it off.

When Taleah asked me to write my story, I told her I couldn’t because I didn’t regret the fun I had that night (However, I do regret my foolishness and being so na├»ve). She told me that’s why I should write it; it’s my connection with those who enjoy drinking.

The part that convinces me not to drink is the impaired judgment that I experienced. Mr. Hottie-Man found us a ride back and I didn’t see why since he wasn’t drunk nor did he consume much alcohol! I still can’t believe my rationale! Alcohol can also increase sexual arousal and when coupled with impaired judgment, it can contribute to one’s loss of virginity—not mine, thank goodness. For those who’ve already engaged in sex, it might lead to cheating in a relationship, or lead to pregnancy from unsafe sex.

Also, as Christians we want to be imitators of Christ and set examples for other believers (and non-believers). But how can we be in leadership positions or lead worship if we get drunk on the weekends? Trying to conceal our secrets eats away at our soul, self concept, and integrity.

My parents woke up, realized that I was gone and started calling me two hours into the party. Yes, I did get into trouble and had to sit through some talks (with one of my girl friends discretely holding me up). A few nights later, I told my parents that my choice to drink would be a one-time thing and in the 2 ½ years that have passed since that night, not one drop of alcohol has touched my lips.

I applaud and encourage those who haven’t experimented with alcohol. For those of us who already have, perhaps the decision to abstain from is stronger since we know what we’re missing. Are you strong enough?

* I do not want my story to encourage one-time-experimentation to satisfy one’s curiosity. We all make mistakes, but it is important that we learn from them and not make them a second time. It’s best to learn from others’ mistakes.

-Luciana S.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reactions to the Awareness Worship

The following quotes come from students who attended the alcohol awareness worship.

“I’m pretty sure I taught that same health lesson three weeks ago to my fifth graders.” Emily Carlson

“What impressed me was the audience was respectful and listened to what they said.” Mollie Cummmings

“I felt it was nice, but honestly they didn’t say anything we didn’t know already. We didn’t gain anymore knowledge about alcohol or the situation.” Chipo Chibende

“I didn’t feel that they were very sincere and from some of the comments they made afterwards I knew they weren’t.” Mariah Wood

“I would have respected them a lot more if they said XYZ happened. We made a mistake, apologized for it, then moved on to the topic at hand. Instead of raising my respect level, it lowered it.” Dani Diede

"I wanted powerpoint with that presentation." Isaac Huston

“It was good with the all students and no staff. It was easier to talk.” Jenny Leslie

"When are we going to have a real alcohol awareness program? Last year there was a whole week on it." Taleah Valles

What's your opinion? Not just on the worship, but more importantly on the subject of alcohol. How can you raise awareness? Is there an alcohol problem on Union's campus (or any Adventist campus for that matter) and what are you going to do to combat it?

Leave a comment.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World Health Organization on Tanning

WHO: Tanning Beds Cause Cancer

Indoor Tanning Causes Melanoma, Report Shows

By Salynn Boyles

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

July 28, 2009 - A leading global cancer research group is declaring tanning bed use a significant cancer hazard.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced today that it has moved UV tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category -- "carcinogenic to humans."

Prior to the move, the group had classified sun lamp and tanning bed use as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

In an interview with WebMD, the IARC’s Vincent Cogliano, PhD, called the scientific evidence linking indoor tanning to the deadly skin cancer melanoma “sufficient and compelling.”

A dramatic rise in melanoma, especially among young women, has been seen in recent years.

Cogliano said studies conducted over the past decade provide an “an abundance of evidence” that tanning bed use has played a role in this rise, along with direct sun exposure.

“People mistakenly see a tan as a sign of health when it is actually a sign of damage to the skin,” he says.

UVA and UVB Cause Cancer

Cogliano says the IARC group met last month to review the research on tanning beds and the role ultraviolet light exposure plays in skin cancer.

The studies found that ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation all cause cancer in animal models, he says.

This is significant because the indoor tanning industry has often claimed that tanning beds are safe because the bulbs have more UVA radiation than UVB, says American Cancer Society Deputy Chief Medical Officer Len Lichtenfeld, MD.

“This report puts to rest the argument that tanning with UVA light is safe,” Lichtenfeld said in a statement. “As noted by the IARC report, UVA light is also a class I carcinogen and should be avoided.”

The report cited the group’s own research analysis published in 2006, finding the use of tanning beds before age 30 to be associated with a 75% increase in melanoma risk.

A separate study reported last July by researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that melanoma rates among young women in the United States almost tripled between 1973 and 2004.

Beginning in the early 1990s, a particularly dramatic increase was seen in thicker and more lethal melanoma lesions, leading the researchers to conclude that tanning has probably played a significant role in this increase.

Early this year, researchers from the Northern California Cancer Center reported that melanoma cases doubled in the U.S. between the mid 1990s and 2004. The researchers concluded that the increase could not be explained by better screening and earlier detection of the cancer.

About 62,000 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the U.S. and about 8,000 people died of the disease in 2008, according to the ACS.

“We were not able to examine possible causes for this increase, but there is a lot of evidence that it is related to tanning,” Clarke tells WebMD.

Study co-author Eleni Linos, MD, DrPh, of Stanford University, points to studies showing increases in outdoor and indoor tanning in recent years, especially among young women.

“One of the established risk factors for melanoma is UV light, so both exposure to sun and exposure to tanning beds are probably risk factors.”
Tanning Industry Responds

Last September, International Tanning Association (ITA) Executive Director John Overstreet told WebMD that a report by leading researchers in the fields of melanoma research, dermatology, and cell biology calling for greater regulation of indoor tanning included “irresponsible assertions without providing any concrete link between indoor tanning and melanoma.”

In the spring of 2008, the ITA launched a nationwide campaign questioning this link.

In a news release issued at the time, ITA spokeswoman Sarah Longwell said, “Both the sun and tanning beds have been unnecessarily demonized by special interests using junk science and scare tactics.”

But in a news release issued today, ITA President Dan Humiston acknowledged that UV exposure from tanning beds is not discernibly different from UV exposure from the sun.

“The fact that the IARC has put tanning bed use in the same category as sunlight is hardly newsworthy,” he noted. “The UV light from a tanning bed is equivalent to UV light from the sun, which has had a (carcinogenic) classification since 1992. Some other items in this category are red wine, beer, and salted fish. The ITA has always emphasized the importance of moderation when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed.”

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

To: those who fake bake.

Dear Fair Skinned Dorm Mates,

I have a question on an epidemic I am seeing on our campus. Tanning. You may wonder why someone of my complexion may care to ponder this subject. But I must admit it intrigues me.

What is the purpose of tanning? You want to appear darker. It seems like our society puts too much emphasis on skin color. So much that you are willing to expose yourself to cancer to achieve this (look up the facts the cancer risk is real…don’t deny it).

I know our campus values health and wellbeing. No smoking, drugs, ect… How is this an exception to the matter?

Please be happy with the color of your skin. Don’t burn yourself into cancer or that dreaded “orange tint”.

In the words of my dear friend, “God is the artist of the color of our skin”.

Remember and embrace your complexion the way it is.


An anonymous black girl


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