Published by The Critograph on April 20, 2016
Katherine Graves, Staff Writer-
Lynchburg College‘s new Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a network that educates young people in middle school, high school and college about making healthy decisions in difficult situations and in their daily lives, according to the SADD website. The group will confront topics like underage drinking, drug use, violence, mental health and sexual orientation.
SADD President, first-year Kacie Smith said in a meeting that the group hopes to work with incoming LC first-years. The group would also like to start a peer mentorship program in which professors who notice a student struggling could contact SADD and a group member could work with the student to mentor him or her.
“If someone’s getting involved with bad decisions and such, they can go out with their mentor and find other activities to do instead of getting caught up in harmful plans,” Smith said.
The group hopes to hold a Graffiti Wall event on campus. SADD Liason first-year Colby Phillips explained that the wall would show negative stereotypes that they would deconstruct and repurpose to promote positive images.
“We’ve also talked about incorporating a Red Ribbon Week on campus, bringing in guest speakers and then producing motivational memos,” Smith said.
Within the community, the group wants to work with local middle schools and high schools to participate in after school events, after prom events and a Red Ribbon Week, which promotes a drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyle. They would also like to work with local businesses to sponsor events.
Phillips said he will contact local schools this summer to begin organizing events because “that’ll be when they’re planning their academic calendars,” he said.
SADD hopes to partner with Peer Advocates for Campus Education, PACE and Operation Smile on future events.
The group was started by Smith, who was the SADD president of her high school in Muncy, Pa. her senior year. Vice President sophomore Jeffrey Snow and Treasurer sophomore Jared Mabe were also involved in the group at their high school in Galax, Va.
To become an official LC organization, the group had to be approved by the LC Senate. After this approval, the group contacted SADD’s official headquarters and sent in their applications. As soon as the group was approved by the SADD organization, it began planning work on campus and within the community.
The group has received assistance from their Advisor Jonathan Fries, Vice President and Dean of Student Development John Eccles, Director of Multicultural Services Annette Stadtherr and Multicultural Services, which provided their training manuals.
This summer, Smith said she will work with the SADD group in her hometown of Muncy, Pa.
Any students who are interested in more information about SADD can contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.