Thursday, September 18, 2008
NCAA Speaker Enlivens Athletes
Members of all of Coker's athletic teams received some pretty sobering information on Wednesday night, September 17, as Elaine Pasqua, a member of the NCAA Speaker's Series, shared some thoughts about Sex and Excess. In an informal poll during class this morning the students who attended the talk said they found her an effective speaker who got her message across in a very clear manner.
There was no question that her approach to the subject had the attention of the students and a couple of major audience participation elements helped to hammer that message home. The speaker told her audience that her reason for becoming a speaker on this particular subject was the experience of watching both her stepfather and her mother die of aids. Her stepfather contracted HIV/Aids from a contaminated blood supply and he passed it to her mother. Elaine has made one of her missions in life the goal of not letting anyone else get this disease because of not knowing how things happen. Her personal story helped her solidify the attention of the audience.
In the communication world, we like to think and to talk about tipping points. The speaker enabled a major demonstration of something like a tipping point as she showed how STDs can spread very quicklyacross a population. Starting out with 14 contaminated cups, the students began sharing their liquid with three other people. By the time they were done, more than 80 students had the pink liquid of "disease" in their hands. That is a lesson that should stick.
The NCAA speakers I have had the opportunity to listen to over the past few years have been good speakers with solid programs that get the attention of students and often include meaningful participation. The subtitle of this week's speaker was "Surviving the Party." The information she shared is going to make a difference for some who were in that audience.
The speaker series is,I believe, funded through an NCAA speaker grant and a Choices grant with some funds coming from Student Services and Coker Athletics. All students were invited.
Just another in the wide variety of events that make up this thing we call 'The Coker Experience.'