The University’s alcohol and drug responsibility office plans to ask faculty, parents, staff and upperclassmen to participate in online educational programs.
The Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education will ask them to log into a website called My Student Body to take surveys with role-playing scenarios to offer insight on topics like substance abuse, stress, healthy eating and sleep habits.
Associate Director Alexis Janda said it’s important for professors, parents and staff members to learn about concerns facing young people nationwide to help them stay on track at school.
About 82 percent of incoming freshmen this year completed the program, with 95 percent at least logging in once – just slightly more than last year.
Janda added that the alcohol habits have changed from generation to generation, more students choosing to drink hard liquor over beer.
“College is very different today from when they were in college,” Janda said. “Parents can read those things if they log in to see the differences just to kind of help give them more information so they can talk to their student.”
She added that the program is still in its “baby stages,” but that the office hopes to spread its usage and purpose to the entire community through ideas like email blasts, social media and information handouts.
“Really, it is our expectation for students to complete it because we want them to get a good base level of knowledge about drugs, alcohol and sexual violence,” Janda said.
The program is broken up into the three specific survey segments with several questions and role play scenarios in each taking a couple hours on average to complete.
The program is voluntary, so students who do not complete the surveys are not penalized. But those who participate could win free giveaways, she said, calling educational programs challenging to implement because “by a nature, a lot of people are going to want to tune out of that.”
Janda arrived on campus in January, taking over the program after her predecessor Katie Bean left. It replaced Alcohol Edu – a similar program that was only used in disciplinary cases.
Over the last year, the University’s judicial branch has morphed its policies on alcohol and drug violations to be more education-based over disciplinary for smaller infractions, like getting caught drinking underage or with small amounts of marijuana.
While CADE administrators can see who has or hasn't completed the survey, they cannot match up specific participants with their answers or searches – a feature Janda hopes will make students feel “safer in using it.”
The program’s responsibility and safety surveys and had been targeted at incoming freshmen “because when you get to college, it’s different than high school, and for a lot of [incoming students], this is their first time away from home, away from parents who help you figure it out,” Janda said.