We also realize that it takes a comprehensive approach to fight high risk drinking. There is no silver bullet that will solve the problem. However, if all stakeholders continue to participate in finding a solution to curb binge drinking, we are confident that results will start to show.
We believe that students are a major stakeholder in the fight against college binge drinking. They can offer insight about their peers that other groups might overlook. Furthermore, they can influence their friends’ behaviors. They can also ultimately save a friend’s life, and we should always encourage students to act whenever they feel they are in a dangerous situation.
We are pleased to see that colleges are also encouraging their students to act. By adopting Good Samaritan Policies, colleges and states believe they are giving students the opportunity to be responsible and prevent a good time from turning into a tragic incident. Good Samaritan policies basically state that “any students who calls campus police or other emergency services for a student with an alcohol or drug related issue, will not face legal consequences”.
This was recently highlighted in an article in USA Today by Lexy Gross: “Good Samaritan Policy encourages students to dial 911”. As Charlie Schreiber – a senior and student body president at The University of Miami - mentions in the article, we know there’s a drinking culture on college campuses, but it’s better to let students know “they can get help instead of letting someone get hurt”.
The Century Council has been looking for creative ways to educate and empower college students to make smart choices for over two decades. Since 2011, three teams of Texas Christian University (TCU) Strategic Communication students have executed a health communication campaign called VITALS, an acronym for Vomiting, Incoherent, Temperature, Absence of Color, Low Breathing and Seizures, all symptoms of alcohol poisoning. The campaign’s goal is to educate students at TCU to recognize alcohol-poisoning symptoms and get help.
Through our student led campaigns such as VITALS, we hope to drive students to be responsible and act to make their college experience a safe one!
How is your campus encouraging students to address binge drinking? Let us know!