Public Affairs, The California State University

Report Highlights Alcohol Education Efforts

The sixth biennial report on Campus Alcohol Education and Prevention Programs presented to the CSU Board of Trustees July 23 outlined some of the most effective alcohol prevention programs utilized by campuses.

Part of a comprehensive policy addressing student alcohol abuse adopted by the Board in 2001, the report also indicated that campus trends show a general decrease in dangerous alcohol related activities and an increase in awareness about the effects of alcohol among students.

Fresno State President John Welty, chair of the CSU Alcohol Policies and Prevention Programs Committee, noted that when it comes to potentially saving students’ lives, any positive difference is worth the time invested.

“As we know, it is very difficult to ensure that any approach to this can be perfect,” Welty said. “But this is an area in which we can make a difference for our students.”

Programs that Work

The report highlights some innovative campus programs that are seeing positive results:

  • An online program called AlcoholEdu is utilized by a number of CSU campuses. Online education not only enhances traditional and peer-to-peer education programs—the services also offer a valuable tool to measure their effectiveness through student surveys.
  • Many campuses have expanded alternative programming during days and times associated with increased alcohol consumption—like spring break, weekends, and back-to-school. The optional events have been very successful at San Diego State, as well as at smaller campuses like CSU Monterey Bay, where fun activities encourage students to spend their weekends on campus and out of trouble.
  • Events like San Francisco State’s “Blurred Lines” bring students together to share personal stories that illustrate the negative impact of alcohol and drugs. SFSU Prevention Education Program Director Michael Ritter says it has become a popular event because students connect with the powerful personal narrative.

What’s Next 

The Alcohol Policies and Prevention Programs Committee aims to expand assessment, enforcement and education programs. In addition, Chancellor Timothy P. White pledged to implement a program called Aware Awake Alive on all 23 campuses. The program, which equips students with the tools and knowledge to prevent alcohol deaths, was created by Scott and Julia Starkey after they lost their son Carson to alcohol poisoning when he was a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Aware Awake Alive was piloted at Cal Poly and has since been adopted by seven other CSU campuses.

Read about more successful programs in the entire report.

Find out more about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention programs, activities and initiatives throughout the CSU at calstate.edu/aod.