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Campus gambling affects ND community

Paul Spadafora | Tuesday, September 7, 2004

The University has added a new segment on gambling to the health and fitness class, Contemporary Topics, which all freshmen must take. According to physical education instructor Diane Scherzer, this addition on gambling is designed to raise student awareness of the hazards of gambling. “A lot of students don’t realize gambling can become addictive, and they also don’t realize they can get help,” Scherzer said. She said the program involves an in-class discussion about the consequences of gambling as well as a discussion of gambling’s addictive nature. In addition, the program extends outside of the Contemporary Topics course. In the wellness planners given to this year’s freshmen, information is provided on the social and professional risks of gambling. “The wellness planner is a good vehicle to disseminate the information,” Scherzer said.There is still concern, however, about the effectiveness of this program.Marisha Schmidt, an instructor in Contemporary Topics course, said it’s difficult to give students all the information they can. “It’s hard to give [the gambling section] to a class thoroughly enough, because we are short on time,” she said. Student apathy may also be an issue, according to Schmidt.”Like anything, some will take it seriously, some will just blow it off,” said Scherzer. However, Scherzer was still optimistic about the new program’s potential impact on students.”I think if they’re aware of [the problems], they can make better choices,” she said. “Students have enough stress in their lives – they don’t need a gambling debt.”

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