Students are key to addressing college binge drinking
College students all over the country have experienced it: those tiring, three-hour long spiels encouraging safe drinking habits from lecturers who drone on and on and on about the negative effects of overconsumption of alcohol. The latest trend, however, is changing the conversation. Students are on the forefront of anti-binge drinking efforts nationwide, encouraging anti-binge drinking behaviors among their peers.
It’s often a refreshing change of pace for students to hear important messages about safe drinking efforts from their fellow students. It causes students to think further on the issue and truly take the matter into consideration. It’s not only about keeping other students well-informed on safe and responsible drinking habits, but also setting an example. If one student makes a pledge to drink responsibly, other students will catch on. Students set the tone for other students by living a responsible lifestyle, not just lecturing about it.
Dr. Delynne Wilcox, the assistant director of Health Planning & Prevention at the Student Health Center at The University of Alabama, said, “The challenge lies in truly engaging students in a topic that is often not viewed as glamorous and counter to the picture that is often painted for them of the ‘ideal’ college experience. Relating to students while addressing binge drinking empowers them to take ownership of the issue and consequently their level of engagement increases exponentially.”
At The University of Alabama, students are passionate about keeping their peers informed on the hazards of binge drinking through LessThanUThink.
LessThanUThink (LTUT) is a nationally recognized award-winning campaign designed to address the national issue of college-age binge drinking. The campaign draws on humor to highlight the negative consequences of binge drinking. In particular, the campaign is for students, by students. Through LTUT’s experience, there is a larger impression when students lead anti-binge drinking efforts. Students take other students seriously because they are on the same level, especially when it’s a topic so relevant to college students.
“The amazing dynamic that I have experienced with LTUT is that students willingly want to be associated with the campaign and the anti-binge drinking message. The innovative creativity of the LTUT resonates with students and draws them into the campaign,” Wilcox said.
LTUT students agree that mastering safe drinking in college is something that should play an important role in every college experience. The passion LTUT students have for this campaign is what drives the influence. Listening to such an important topic from a peer is powerful. LTUT shows the power of students when they’re involved in the conversation, furthering the need for student leadership in the anti-binge drinking conversation.
The following guest blog was authored by Blair Martin, an APR student at the University of Alabama who is also a member of Capstone Agency, which is a student-run public relations firm. Blair is also a member of LessThanUThink, a student-generated campaign designed to address the national issue of college-age binge drinking.
*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) or any Responsibility.org member.*