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Feature Friday: OPROS Peer Mentor Program

Feature Friday: OPROS Peer Mentor Program

Courtesy of Oneonta Sports Information Department

CORTLAND, NY - Last April, the NCAA announced that Oneonta was awarded a Choices Grant to fund and promote student's making good choices in college as it related to alcohol and drug use. The program has been put into place at the college with much success. Representatives from across the student athlete community have unified to promote this philosophy campus wide. These representatives are known as OPROS which are Oneonta players reaching other students.

Throughout this fall and spring semester, the OPROS have organized tabling events that have been held in the dorms through campus at various times. Student athletes will work with the campus community and reach out to the student body and present a Red Watch Band Training Presentation. The Red Watch Band is a program used for students in the implementation of alcohol emergency training not just for college students, but also high schools. The curriculum was created by licensed alcohol and other drug specialists, along with health professionals for specialized education making students aware of importance of making good choices.

Oneonta Athletics not only has worked to educate students on their campus, but the student athletes have taken this into the community. During the week of March 19-23, the OPROS visited Edmeston High school and conducted several sessions of the Red Watch Band Training on three separate days.

About NCAA Choices

The NCAA chose the theme "CHOICES" because college students are confronted with a variety of choices daily, some of which have lasting effects on their lives. The NCAA believes that programs implemented through this grant program will help create an environment that supports and encourages personal CHOICES that are legal, healthy, appropriate and safe.

For more information about NCAA choices:

The objectives of the OPROS peer mentor/educator program are to:

  1. Reduce the frequency of high risk drinking (5 or more drinks at a sitting).
  2. Increase student athlete awareness about alcohol and its effects on athletic performance.
  3. Enhance a normative education to new students during orientation.
  4. Establish a six-week intensive OPROS outreach effort in the six residences halls that house new students.
  5. Provide comprehensive alcohol education to local high school students.

How was the Red Watch Band Training Developed?

It was developed after the death of Matthew Sunshine, who died because of an alcohol overdose while attending Northwestern University in 2008. His mother, who is a faculty member at Stony Brook University Medical Center, worked with the Dean of students, Center of Prevention and Outreach and the Milton Marketing Form to create the program with the endorsement from Stony Brook President Shirley Strum Kennedy.



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