Published: August 24, 2007
For the first time, The University of Tampa will require all
first-year students to complete an online alcohol prevention program
immediately upon arrival this fall. This decision reflects The
University of Tampa’s commitment to the health and welfare of its
students, especially in regard to high-risk drinking. Students began
arriving on campus Aug. 20.
“We have a responsibility to help
ensure the safety of our students,” said Associate Dean of Students Gina
Firth. “Instead of allowing high-risk drinking to affect our campus, we
are working to get out ahead of the problem, educating students about
the dangers associated with high-risk drinking and providing appropriate
prevention programs and resources to students.”
AlcoholEdu® for College, is designed to assist students in making good
decisions concerning alcohol. Developed by Boston-based Outside The
Classroom Inc., the program is administered to students to help change
the campus drinking culture.
Used at more than 500 institutions
and Greek organizations nationwide, the curriculum integrates proven
prevention strategies and scientific-based findings into a
non-opinionated, personalized educational program. AlcoholEdu for
College also includes three confidential surveys to help institutions
understand the effectiveness of its efforts following the completion of
Researchers at the University of Illinois found that
students who completed AlcoholEdu for College experienced approximately
50 percent fewer negative health, social and academic consequences than
students who had not taken the program.
“The purpose of the
college experience is to educate students and give them the tools to be
successful,” Firth said. “The University of Tampa is confident that our
prevention programs will have a lasting impact on our students and stay
with them beyond their collegiate career.”
Over the past several
years, The University of Tampa has built a comprehensive prevention and
student assistance program through:
- Collaborations with
area prevention and treatment professionals and local coalitions, such
as the Tampa Alcohol Coalition and the Hillsborough Anti-Drug Alliance.
of its own campus coalition, titled Coalition for an Alcohol
Responsible Environment (C.A.R.E.), which consists of students, staff,
faculty and community members to complement the community coalition’s
efforts to address the issue of underage drinking.
- Implementation of on-going social norm campaigns that challenge college student misperceptions of their peers’ alcohol use.
- Creation of peer education programs.
- Expansion of late-night and weekend programming and services for students.
Harvard School of Public Health released a study in 2002 announcing
that two out of five undergraduate college students are high-risk
drinkers and that this rate has remained constant since 1993. The most
recent report from the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol
Abuse (NIAAA) states that the problem of college drinking exceeds
previous estimates, citing more than 1,700 alcohol-related deaths and
2.1 million cases of driving under the influence in 2002. The NIAAA also
suggest 599,000 injuries, 97,000 sexual assaults, and 159,000
first-year student dropouts are due to alcohol and other drugs every