Online Alcohol Course on ‘Called a Joke’ By Some Undergrads (#drinking @RedandBlack)

An online alcohol education course that incoming college students nationwide are required to complete is “ineffective and may actually encourage irresponsible drinking,” a new report in The Red & Black at the University of Georgia confirms.  (FYI The Red & Black is my favorite student newspaper in the solar system, if you cannot tell by my frequent postings of the paper’s stories.)

A class talk with my j-students here at UT confirmed many of the sentiments expressed in Briana Gerdeman’s piece, “Alcohol Course Called a ‘Joke.'”  Apparently, many students see the hours-long program as a waste of time, something they click through while doing 12 other things, and, if anything, use as a resource to learn MORE about how to get drunk.  (Yikes.)  As a UGA student writes in a focus group report cited by Gerdeman, “I thought [the My Student Body course] was great!  It taught me all sorts of new tricks for drinking so I didn’t look so naïve coming into college!

Bottom line: It’s time to take a sobering look at your school’s alcohol education and awareness programs.

Questions for a Related Report

What are the alcohol education initiatives on your campus, and how do students view them?  How much money is spent by the school on them?  Who is your school’s ‘responsible drinking czar’ and what does the job entail?  How does the school measure the related programs’ effectiveness?  If the My Student Body course is required of incoming students (as it seems to be nearly everywhere), what’s their take on it?  How much, if any impact, does it have on their drinking perspectives?  What is their advice for how to improve it?  And what does the course actually entail– the questions asked, information offered, and the style in which it is presented?  In a related sense, what type of information is offered that can be spun by students into “new tricks for drinking”?  More generally, what’s the alcohol and drug culture on your campus, circa 2012?  What are the latest, and most dangerous, drinking trends?  And are any student groups leading responsible drinking campaigns?

Multimedia Options

1) Present a screenshot or meme slideshow of the questions and information featured in the My Student Body course required of incoming freshmen.  2) I do think a man-on-the-street video roundup of student reactions is appropriate here to ensure interested readers and administrators recognize the large amount and variety of students who find My Student Body ineffective (if that is, in fact, the consensus).  3) A slideshow of the top “tricks for drinking” the My Student Body course ironically provides underage students.

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