For over 18 years, The Century Council has been assisting college campuses in the fight against high risk drinking on campuses. In that time, college binge drinking declined 16% between 1991 and 2011. We believe we have contributed to the decline, but we also know that there are others who are also working hard on reducing high risk drinking in universities.
We wanted to highlight one university in particular and congratulate them on their progress in addressing high risk drinking on their campus. According to the yearly Ohio University survey regarding students and their use of alcohol and other drugs, it shows that “students’ high risking drinking behaviors have dropped from 79% in 2007 to 63% in 2013”.
Although that number is still high and too many students are still engaging in high risk drinking, it still represents great progress. The challenge is to keep the trend moving in a downward direction. Ohio University has completely overhauled its drug and alcohol policies in order to achieve that goal. It has created a mix of “stricter sanctions for violations”, increased “education and awareness efforts” and created new intervention programs. It has also adopted a model that allows repeat student offenders to complete their studies instead of getting suspended, provided the students complete educational programs and community service, as well as live an extra year on campus.
We believe it takes a comprehensive approach to solve the issue of high risk drinking on college campuses. Ohio University has done a good job in mixing several procedures to address the problem, and in 2010 it was one of The Century Council’s pilot campuses for the Ohio University student led campaign “College you don’t want to miss this”. Also, through their yearly survey, Ohio University has been able to tap into the student world and hear their voices as well, and act accordingly. We applaud their efforts!