Skyline College students and faculty gather around a set of tables at the Fireside Dining Room. Each table prepared with its own large cardboard layout of a specific drug and much information about it.
Behind those tables, the students explain their research on the drugs they are presenting and hand out small brochures with more details.
“These are my students in introduction to psychobiology and all semester long we kind of look things that affect our brain,” Jennifer Merrill-Sinarle, the psychology professor at Skyline College and coordinator of the event said. Professor Merrill-Sinarle also went on to explain her psychobiology class.
“One of the things we looked at all semester is food. Like how do the foods we eat affect our neurotransmitters, are they good for us are they not good for us? Something else we’ve taken a look at are drugs, and especially the drugs that are commonly used by college students, how are they affecting your brain.”
Professor Merrill-Sinarle also stated everything at the event was “student made”. When arriving to the event you got a document similar to a “passport” and you had to go to every table and receive a stamp.
Once full, this “passport” can give extra credit to students in psychology class, one of the reasons why there were many students attending this event in the middle of the day.
“It was pretty cool, it was pretty interactive, you know people are seeing other students, so it makes it more fun,” said student and psychology major, Patrick Ignau, who attended the event as a student of Professor Merrill-Sinarle’s psychology class for social psychology. He also said he believed it was important for other students to know about these drugs.
Two students of her Introduction to Psychology class were making their way out of the event, Skai Cachaperl and Maggie Deguzman, both of whom are Skyline College students. Although they are not psychology majors, their reason for being at the event was to receive extra credit for their Introduction to Psychology class.
“For Marijuana, I was kind of surprised that it is addictive, I didn’t know that. A lot of people were saying that it wasn’t,” Cachaperl said, when asked what their biggest takeaway from the event.
The alcohol table operated by Skyline College students Katie Schafer and Shayla Sandoval, had a poster board filled with facts about the drug, as well as myths that were debunked. They also had brochures set on the table that gave more information to people curious enough to pick them up. Both students are currently taking Professor Merrill-Sinarle’s Introduction to Psychobiology course and used this opportunity as a class assignment.
Schafer and Sandoval gave a brief presentation on the drug they chose.
“I feel like alcohol, especially around college students affects them a lot more. It’s a more frequently used drug, ” said Sandoval during the presentation. “And also there’s a lot of things about alcohol that a lot of people don’t even know, like how it affects men and women differently.”
“I feel like it is more about personal choice and your morals, and people should be safe if they do drink alcohol,” Schafer said when asked about alcohol and its widespread social acceptance compared to other drugs that were being shown.
“Also don’t ever feel peer pressured if you don’t want to do it,” Schafer continued to give advice. Both Schafer and Sandoval agreed that it is not acceptable to drink and drive.
“There are a lot of deaths associated with alcohol and people have died and have killed others,” Sandoval added. Both are topics which they hope students would take away from their presentation and brochures.