Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lectures Get Interactive with Jeff Graham

By Victoria Martin

            On Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Compton 226 was home to a lecture presented by Jeff Graham focused on Greek Life and why the things usually associated with it, alcohol, hazing, and partying, are so often connected. The event took place directly before the anti-hazing workshop, a mandatory event for those who are in the process of pledging for membership in a Greek organization. The timing of the event prompted many students currently in Greek organizations to attend as indicated by the majority of the seats being filled.
            As the speaker for the evening’s talk, Graham created excitement in the room before he even began. Graham has served as Associate Dean of Students at Frostburg State University for the since 2007. Known by many students, Graham’s presence elected enthusiasm from much of the audience. Anticipation was furthered as each person in attendance was given automated clickers, used for interactive PowerPoint’s often in various classes, signaling that everyone was essentially going to be able to participate.
            “Its cool because I never get to use these in class,” explains Angelica Thomas, senior biology major.
            At the start of the lecture, Graham showed a video featuring footage of various college-aged people partying in West Virginia. The film elected laughs from many students as the scenes showed various gatherings featuring having alcohol and the consequences of it in more humorous ways.
            After the video, Graham began to talk on various points including how the acts and antics of this generation are nothing new and in his own days as WVU, partying was very similar to what it is today. He also highlighted that people tend to consume alcohol in groups and that because Greeks are strong and prominent social groups, drinking it often associated with them. He added that that fact is not also a negative.
            He focused in the negative fact coming from high-risk drinking including things such as grain alcohol or mixing alcohol consumption with the intake of other things like illegal drugs.
            The component of the lecture that made it different from more common ones is the constant poll questions that were placed throughout the PowerPoint. Some asked for students’ individual drinking habits or choices of beverages while others asked for opinion on FSU’s alcohol usage statistics.
            It was the ability for students in the audience to directly influence the outcome of the results that made the lecture so interesting. Chris Polhemus, senior wildlife major, says that he “really enjoyed the parts where we voted.” Polhemus’ viewpoint was clearly shared by many in the large applause presented to Graham and the end of the lecture as well as the many laughs along the way. 

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