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Given the right tools, student leaders can be part of the solution – and in many ways may be more effective at influencing the behavior of their membership than any other strategy used by a college or university. has partnered with American Institutes for Research (AIR) to offer colleges and universities an evidenced-based toolkit for student leaders on their campus to successfully manage their student organization’s unique needs and issues regarding high-risk drinking.

FailSafe is a new, easy-to-use web-based program to actively engage college student leaders in the fight against high-risk drinking based on Edgework theory and an early demonstration project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), funded by the US Department of Education. Edgework, an accepted sociological theory that there are formal and informal “communities” centered on voluntary risk-taking activities, and the work done at UNL suggests that, with effective education and support, student leaders can act as key influencers to identify students who present higher risk, realign norms and expectations around alcohol consumption and implement positive behaviors and bystander interventions as routine practices.

FailSafe will be pilot tested at colleges and universities and student organizations. Evaluation outcomes and pilot site results will be available in late 2017.

The FailSafe program includes nine unique tools and videos take users through the four stages of the FailSafe process. The program begins with a confidential online assessment completed by all members of a student group. The aggregated group data is then sent to the student leader, who uses the “Leader Tools” guide to interpret the data, assess the risk vulnerability of the group, drinking behaviors of the organization and identify members whose high-risk behaviors might threaten the success of the group. hopes the FailSafe initiative will offer colleges and universities an evidenced-based program that fully engages and involves student leaders to be part of the solution.

Download the FailSafe Fact Sheet