AlcoholEDU hopes to reduce drinking rates for freshmen
There is one thing that is always present at any university, even atthe conclusion of the Homecoming weekend and long after the football stadium lights have gone dark: Alcohol.
With a freshman class with a 26.5 percent larger than last year, many new students on campus are having underage experiences with alcohol. AlcoholEDU is aware of the problem and is taking steps to defeat it.
“Alcohol use, for better or for worse, is a part of college life,” said Helen Stubbs, vice president of Higher Education at EverFi, the founder of the AlcoholEDU program. “We’re looking for ways to educate (students) to keep them safe.”
The program is dedicated to teaching first-year students the potential dangers of alcohol consumption. Under Stubbs, the program has grown to encompass 500 universities including Central Michigan University.
Michelle Veith, associate director of Residence Life, implemented AlcoholEDU in fall 2012. She said although the changes in student interactions with alcohol may not be visible, there has been a change in behavior since the program with implemented.
“In terms of our numbers of alcohol transports, they have decreased over the last couple of years,” Veith said. “There are a number of factors that contribute to that, but I would like to believe that Alcohol EDU contributes to that as well.”
According to pre-test and post-test survey results from the 2013-14 freshman class, there was a 27 percent increase in students who said they would drink less when consuming alcohol.
The AlcoholEDU program’s overall success is working on campus, according to the CMU Police Department. They report an increase in students who are being more aware of their actions and making safe choices while drinking.
“One of the things that we’ve seen over the last couple of years with AlcoholEDU is that people seem to be more responsible,” said Lt. Cameron Wassman. “From a police perspective it certainly is a very beneficial program.”
He said in the 14 years he has served on the force alcohol has been involved in the majority of incidents involving CMUPD.
"People get to drinking and they lose their inhibitions,” Wassman said. “It never fails. People who would normally never do things commit crimes.”
By next year, most students on a four year plan will have participated in taking the AlcoholEdu program, which Veith said is a step in the right direction.
“The biggest thing that we’re trying to do is mitigate risk and work with the culture around drinking,” she said.
Veith hopes the program will help students and protect them from the dangers of alcohol.
“As far as I’m concerned if we even save one life, then it’s worth it," she said.