Four Eastern junior social work students are leading a semester-long campaign for gambling awareness among the field of athletics. The students chose to target their campaign on the field of athletics--particularly student athletes and their coaches--because of the long history and relationship between sport and gambling.
"Data shows that athletes and coaches are more likely to gamble than the average person," said Wes Wilmoth, a junior social work major working on the campaign. "Betting has always accompanied competition, and the more people are aware of this, the better."
Eastern is a state leader when it comes to gambling awareness. The team of four and their supervisor, Thomas Broffman, assistant professor of Social Work, sat in on the Connecticut Council for Problem Gambling (CCPG) in March, where they met with legislators at the Capitol.
"Addiction is addiction," said Avery Schena, a junior social work major working on the campaign. "We don't want to be abrasive or 'expose' anybody. We just want to educate and let people know about the different resources available."
Eastern President Elsa Núñez issued a proclamation announcing the students' investigation to help break down barriers and enable the students on the campaign to more thoroughly interview staff and faculty. "Problem gambling is an issue often overlooked," said Desiree LaPorte, a junior social work major working on the campaign. "The more awareness raised, the more serious it will be taken."
If you or someone you know has a gambling issue, please call the CCPG at (888) 789-7777, or visit the website at www.problemgambling.org.