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Portable Billboard Spreads Word of Impaired Student Recovery Area

A movable billboard, which includes information about Pennsylvania College of Technology's Impaired Student Recovery Area, will make its campus-awareness rounds during the academic year. (Photo by Michael S. Fischer, student photographer) A portion of a $15,000 grant sponsored by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to support prevention of underage and high-risk alcohol use by students paid for a movable on-campus billboard advertising Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Impaired Student Recovery Area and the importance of calling for emergency care when an individual has had too much to drink.

The ISRA is a health and safety initiative that was begun by the college’s Residence Life Office in 1999. It provides a safe location for students who have been found to be significantly intoxicated and who would be a safety or health risk to themselves or others due to their intoxication.

Thefacility is not a punishment or a college judicial sanction, but a medical observation area to ensure the safety of Penn College students. Its mission is to offer a safe and secure environment for impaired students to prevent them from jeopardizing their health and well-being and allowing certified Emergency Medical Technicians to provide care and oversight that roommates/friends may or may not provide.

Symptoms of impairment include a combination of slurred speech, impaired motor coordination and balance, loss of good judgment, and/or nausea. Symptoms of severe impairment include the inability to walk or stand, vomiting, and/or loss of consciousness.

If it is determined that a student needs immediate medical assistance, Penn College Police or college staff will immediately call an ambulance to transport the student to the hospital. If the student does not require hospital care, but appears to pose a health or safety risk to him/herself or others, he or she will be taken to the Impaired Student Recovery Area. Once transported there,the studentwill be under the supervision of an EMT until they no longer pose a health or safety risk.

The billboard will be displayed in multiple locations around the Penn College campus in the coming weeks. The initiative by Penn College Health Services has been distributed on the College Health ListServ and to other colleges in the area to assist them in implementing similar programs at their institutions.

More information about the ISRA is available online or by calling College Health Services at 570-320-5234.

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