Sacred Heart Hosts Regional Conference for the Bacchus Network

News Story: April 1, 2011
Members of S.W.E.E.T. gather at the Regional Conference for the Bacchus Network.

On April 9th, Sacred Heart University hosted the Regional Conference for the Bacchus Network. SHU welcomed over 140 attendees and presenters representing 22 different universities from across New England.

“Hosting the conference was a very rewarding experience,” said Karen Flanagan, coordinator of Peer Education. “It provided an opportunity to connect with other university professionals and peer groups, showcase our campus in Fairfield, and give back to the Bacchus Network.”

The Bacchus Network is a non-profit organization that helps both universities and communities promote health and safety among students and young adults. According to the Bacchus website, their philosophy is that “students can play a uniquely effective role – unmatched by professional educators – in encouraging their peers to consider, talk honestly about and develop responsible habits and attitudes toward high-risk health and safety issues.”

The conference was held to share ideas in health promotion and harm reduction with Area 10 (New England) peer education groups.  The event helped increase awareness of the many wellness issues that college students are facing today, as well as provided an opportunity to promote enthusiasm and commitment while working in an atmosphere of togetherness, leadership, validation, and recognition.

In attendance were SHU’s S.W.E.E.T. peer educators, who promote knowledge on campus in the areas of stress, sexual health, nutrition, and alcohol use. They organize events on campus such as “Safe is Sexy” (Sexually Transmitted Disease/Infection Prevention), “How to Beat the SHU Blues” (Homesick Freshmen), “Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now, or Mr. Next?” (Healthy Relationships), and “Stress Less!”

The event also featured SHU’s own Sean Heffron, director of the Student Experience for the John F. Welch College of Business, as the keynote speaker.

“I was honored to be a part of that day, and set the tone for the conference,” said Heffron.  “My message was one of leadership, in particular, options and opportunities. I shared some personal stories of failure and success, reminding students that in order to find their passion, the road is long and filled with choices, and sometimes the best lessons come from missed opportunities.”