Four Eastern Connecticut State University students and their faculty advisor participated in the 26th Annual National Conference of Problem Gambling in Milwaukee, WI, on July 13. Students Hannah Carroccia, Graham Cooper, Katherine Roomie and Justin Szela joined Eastern Social Work Professor Thomas Broffman to present data on Eastern's semester-long Campus Gambling Awareness Campaign during the conference.
According to the National Conference of Problem Gambling, young people are two to three times more likely to develop a gambling problem than adults. The mission of the conference was to increase public awareness of pathological gambling; ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families; and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education. The conference was designed for people with a wide range of involvement in gambling issues. Participants included clinicians, researchers, public policy makers, law enforcement, students and those in recovery, as well as their family members.
Eastern's campaign is a learning project that Social Work juniors carry out in conjunction with their social work community practice and statistics classes. Broffman said Eastern is the only college in the nation with a gambling awareness semester. The program is in its fourth year and is funded by Connecticut Council of Problem Gambling (CCPG).
During their presentation, students were careful to point out that they were not anti- or pro-gambling, but merely collectors of data on gambling behavior among students to see how widespread gambling is. Their research examined housing policies at various private and public universities in Connecticut.
Those interested in more information about the national campaign can visit www.npgaw.org. For more information on Gambling Awareness Semester at Eastern, contact Broffman at (860) 465-0298 or firstname.lastname@example.org.