We can all agree that high risk drinking continues to be a health and safety issue in our nation’s college campuses. This week’s news about UVA shed a light on perhaps a more serious matter: a campus culture that promotes high risk drinking. Furthermore, today’s article in the Washington Post highlights how college binge drinking is still a grave issue. It also highlights some of the dangerous consequences of high risk drinking. However, it does not touch on how colleges should go about solving the issue.
A comprehensive approach is required, if any progress is to be made in dealing with the challenges faced by campus communities nationwide. At The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, we believe that all stakeholders need to be involved in finding new and innovative ways to address the issue of high risk drinking on college campus; first and foremost, that includes students!
In fact, over the past three years, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has been supporting student-led campaigns to fight binge drinking on several college campuses . These campaigns were created, developed and implemented by students. We strongly believe that they have a lot to offer in the fight against underage drinking. They have a better knowledge of campus culture, and access to key insights that administrators and faculty might not be able to tap when thinking of ways to address the issue.
The students’ involvement can bring about a fresh perspective and creative ideas. More importantly, the messages they convey resonate much better with their peers, in a way scare tactics and statistics don’t. For example, student led campaigns can be humorous but still emphasize the negative social consequences of binge drinking. That’s a balancing act that only students can achieve.
It’s time to move beyond the question of how much students drink. #JoinTheConvo and let’s discuss why students drink the way they do and what we need to do about it.