Tag Archives: Campaigns

Steroid Abuse Not a Healthy Shortcut to Fitness

steroidLance Armstrong. Marion Jones. A-Rod. Almost everyone has seen headlines exposing famous athletes caught in illegal steroid abuse scandals. While less commonly discussed, steroid abuse is also a concern for the “regular Joes” of the population.

Steroids (full name anabolic androgenic steroids) are substances that mimic testosterone. They are used medically for their ability to stimulate the development of muscle tissue and male sexual characteristics.1 Some individuals abuse these substances, using them not for medical purposes, but to quickly increase muscle mass. Luckily, steroid abuse appears to be relatively uncommon—research estimates that 3-4% of men abuse steroids at some point in their lives. However, the prevalence of steroid abuse is estimated to be higher among regular gym-goers.2

Individuals who use steroids without a prescription and those considering it should be aware of the negative consequences of steroid abuse. The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies steroids as a Schedule III controlled substance; the penalty for possessing steroids without a prescription is a minimum $1,000 fine and maximum of one year in prison for first drug offenses. Additionally, steroid abuse has been linked to many negative health consequences. Short term effects can include acne, baldness, breast development in males, and shrinking of the testicles. Long term effects can include infertility, heart problems, and liver cancer.1

Gains in fitness don’t happen overnight— getting in shape requires patience and dedication. If good old fashioned hard work and sweat alone aren’t cutting it, here are three resources that Penn State University Park offers to help students get fit naturally:

1. Fitness Center Orientations- Learn what the Rec Hall, Intramural, and White Building Fitness Centers have to offer with a free Fitness Center Orientation! Whether you just need a lay-of-the-land or want to learn how to use equipment, fitness center members can sign up for one free session per facility. See a fitness training or desk attendant for details.

2. Personal Training- Stay motivated and reach your fitness goals with a personalized exercise program designed by Campus Recreation’s qualified Personal Trainers. Single sessions, as well as 5 and 10-session packages are available. An initial fitness assessment is included in 5 and 10-session packages. Each session is 60 minutes one-on-one with your personal trainer. You must have a fitness center membership or purchase a day pass in order to use training sessions. Sign up at the Rec Hall, White Building, or IM Fitness Centers. Contact Erin Raupers at eeg5005@psu.edu with questions.

  • 1 session: $25 (Student), $33 (Faculty/Staff)
  • 5 sessions: $112.50 (Student), $150 (Faculty/Staff)
  • 10 sessions: $200 (Student), $280 (Faculty/Staff)

3. Nutrition Counseling- Healthy eating and exercise go hand-in-hand, and individual nutrition counseling at UHS can help. You’ll meet one-on-one with a registered dietitian who will tailor your diet to meet your personal health needs. Make an appointment on the UHS website or by calling 814-863-0461. Costs vary by insurances.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2006
  2. Rahnema et al., 2014

Advice from Take the Lead 2014: Know your limits

Penn State Take the Lead 2014
Penn State Take the Lead 2014

As part of the 2014 Take the Lead campaign, Off-Campus Student Union President Luke Amory recommends that students know their limits and stick to them.

This is great advice, but how do you figure out what limit to set? Understanding how alcohol affects the body may help you. Although it’s classified as a depressant drug, alcohol produces stimulant effects (a “buzz”) when consumed at low levels. After a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises above 0.06, alcohol’s depressant nature kicks in, producing the negative effects associated with drinking too much (ex. slurred speech and impaired motor skills).

So, if you choose to drink, keep your BAC below 0.06. To determine how many drinks per hour will put a person of your sex and weight at or around a 0.06 BAC, use the charts below. For example, if you are a female who is between 140 and 160 lbs., having two drinks or fewer per hour will help you avoid experiencing alcohol’s negative depressant effects. Click here for tips on how to stick to your limit.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Chart
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Chart


Advice from Take the Lead 2014: If you choose to drink, be smart about it

Penn State Take the Lead 2014
Penn State Take the Lead 2014

Zane Douglass, former President of the Council of Lionhearts, has a simple message to add to the 2014 Take the Lead campaign: if you choose to drink, be smart about it. This means using various strategies to take care of yourself and your friends. Let’s break down Zane’s advice point by point:

Eat beforehand: Eating a full meal before drinking is an effective way to slow your body’s absorption of alcohol. When you have food in your stomach, the digestion process slows down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. It’s important to eat before and/or during drinking—eating after the fact won’t have any effect on blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Drink plenty of water: Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes your body to lose water via increased urine production. Drinking water helps replenish lost fluids and prevents dehydration. Alternating alcoholic beverages with water or other non-alcoholic beverages is also an excellent strategy for pacing yourself and keeping your BAC low.

Stay with a group of friends you know will look out for you: It’s important to go out with friends that you know well and trust. Use the buddy system to check in on each other, hold each other accountable to drink limits, and make sure everyone gets home safely. And if a friend needs help for alcohol poisoning, one of you can call 911.

Student Leaders Encourage Others to “Take the Lead”

Five more student leaders are lending their voices to the Take the Lead campaign to encourage other students to make responsible decisions about drinking and involvement at Penn State. Now in its fifth year, the campaign features student leaders and their advice about staying safe, getting involved, and staying true to one’s goals and values.

The Take the Lead campaign is sponsored by the following student groups: University Park Undergraduate Association, Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Off-Campus Student Union, Student Athlete Advisory Council, Area Residence Hall Associations and Council of Lionhearts.

Check out the album below to see posters featuring the following students:

  • Luke Amory (’16 Biomedical Engineering)
    President, Off-Campus Student Union
  • Meaghan DeMallie (’15 Marketing)
    President, Panhellenic Council
  • Zane Douglass (’14 Industrial Engineering)
    Former President, Council of Lionhearts
  • Raquel (Rocky) Rodriguez (’16 Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management) Midfielder/Forward, Women’s Soccer Team
  • Bukola Toyobo (’16 Biology)
    Secretary, Student National Medical Association
    Program Assistant, The Ritner-Wolf Experience

Take the Lead 2013 Launches on Campus

Student leaders across Penn State are once again encouraging their peers  to “take the lead” and make responsible decisions about drinking and involvement at Penn State.

The “Take the Lead” campaign is once again making its appearance on campus in the form of posters and advertisements.  The campaign features student leaders from six on-campus groups, each opening up about their advice to  their peers about how to act responsibly, especially when it comes to drinking.

For example, Ariel Edwards, a member of the Lady Lions basketball team, encourages students who choose not to drink to stand firm in their decision and not be intimidated.  

Joe Charette, a senior studying psychology and President of Delta Lambda Phi fraternity, encourages his peers to step in when friends have had too much to drink.

This year, UPUA, CCSG, IFC, Panhellenic Council, OCSU, Student Athlete Advisory Council, Area Residence Hall Associations, and Council of Lionhearts all are participating in the “Take the Lead” campaign.