Lesley University received a CHOICES grant to help reduce alcohol abuse on campus.
The CHOICES program was created by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to support NCAA members as they develop new approaches to reduce alcohol abuse on campus. In spring 2010, Lesley was one of the fourteen colleges and universities across the country to be awarded a CHOICES grant. With this funding, Lesley has been able to:
In spring 2011, Lesley conducted the National College Health Assessment Web Survey (NCHA-Web) to the university's undergraduates. (The survey was created by the American College Health Association.)
The results gathered from the 400+ student responses show that there are tremendous discrepancies between students' perceptions regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs versus students' actual use. It has been proved that social norms campaigns, which publicize such discrepancies, are an effective tool in decreasing the rates of consumption of these substances on college campuses.
Data collected from the NCHA will help Lesley's CHOICES committee to educate students about the extent to which alcohol is really used on campus, in order to promote and normalize abstaining and lower-risk consumption. As we inform students about the survey findings, we believe that overall rates of alcohol use on campus could drop because students would no longer be trying to reflect a model that is based on inaccurate perceptions.
Statistics Project (September - December)
Four groups of students taking an Introduction to Statistics class conducted alcohol-related empirical research. They surveyed student athletes and non-athletes regarding their use of alcohol and other lifestyle choices, and researched broader issues linked to alcohol use among college student athletes.
Safety Week Drinks (October)
Student Health Services and the Counseling Center served "mocktails" at the Student Center during Lesley's Safety Week. Over 100 students enjoyed non-alcoholic beverages while picking up educational handouts.
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (October 17-23, 2010)
Among the activities held at Lesley during this week were:
Another group of students from Introduction to Statistics again focused on alcohol use and abuse among student athletes.
Sober Super Bowl (February)
Student Activities and the CHOICES project sponsored an alcohol-free party for about 50 students who gathered to watch the game.
Lesley Student Health Fair (February)
A table with alcohol educational materials was set up by the Counseling Center.
Talk by Janet Judge (February)
Sports law attorney Janet Judge spoke to all 185 Lesley student-athletes about substance abuse and well-being issues.
Healthy Relationships Week (February 28 - March 4)
Lesley's drug and alcohol coordinator presented a workshop, "Cultivating a Healthy Relationship with Yourself," focused on constructive ways to decrease stress and promote an overall sense of well-being.
NCHA Student Survey (February - March)
A student life survey, including questions on alcohol use, was distributed to all Lesley and Art Institute of Boston undergraduates. 444 students responded; information from the survey will help us to develop further alcohol education activities. The Student Life Survey will be incorporated in course activities for CMATH 2142 and CMATH 3522. (See the Findings section above.)
Community of Scholars Day (March)
Students involved in alcohol-related research presented their findings in a poster session for Lesley's Community of Scholars Day on March 30.
Focus Group (April)
Professor Jim O'Keefe met with 5 student-athletes on April 27 in order to get their opinions on non-alcohol based social activities that might be offered on campus. Some of the highlights of this focus group included:
CHOICES will be among the campus groups involved in the University Council Quality of Life Committee, which will coordinate many groups on campus related to wellness issues.
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