RECRUITING KEY PLAYERS
The key to success in your NCAAW program plan is to get students involved in the process from the beginning. Not only can students be valuable as committee members, but they are also closest to your audience, and they can provide creativity and programming insights that administrators might be less likely to develop on their own. Remember, peer-topeer influence is our most effective education tool! Building a wide level of student ownership in the planning of your NCAAW will help guarantee acceptance and participation. The more visible a role your students play, the more likely other students will want to get involved. Make sure all of your targeted groups are represented on your committee or task force. NCAAW is an opportunity to gain interest and respect for campus-based prevention programs. It is important to use these special weeks to build the base for year-round efforts. Many campuses have used NCAAW to identify students to become peer educators. Starting a BACCHUS or GAMMA peer education group as the cornerstone of your program is a great way to ensure that your NCAAW efforts last well after your final event for the week.
Identifying and recruiting key players serves several purposes. It is simple human nature for people to take ownership in those things they help create. If you want to build participation and support for NCAAW, then it is important that you find allies across campus. Although the players will vary depending on the size and type of campus, NCAAW planning committees often consist of student and/or staff representatives from:
1. Peer Education Organizations
2. Student Activities/Programming Board
3. Student Government
4. Residence Life
5. Fraternity and Sorority Systems
6. Health Education/Wellness Offices
7. Multicultural Affairs/Student Groups
9. Athletics/Campus Recreation/Intramurals
10. Faculty Senate
11. Campus Security
12. Campus Food Service
13. Campus Newspaper
14. Student Volunteerism Office
15. Campus Public Relations Office
Although it is not likely that any committee will consist of all of these individuals, it is possible that by reviewing this list, you might recognize an area on your campus or in your community that you might not have already contacted. The key is to have as broad a level of participation as possible to support your efforts and to recruit participation for your events. From this larger group, specific committees can be assigned to handle the details of individual programs. Not everyone on your list will be an active participant. However, it is quite possible that they might have financial and other resources available for co-programming. This can be a great benefit to your NCAAW efforts.
Collaborating With Others Expands Our Educational Impact
A guide to how different areas of campus life can support your activities…
Campus Activities Can Plan...
- Bulletin Boards and Exhibits
Use a highly traveled area of campus and develop a prevention message bulletin board on NCAAW topics.
- Freebies and Giveaways
People are your best bulletin boards to make people aware of an issue. Have people sign a pledge card to make responsible decisions about alcohol, or sign a pledge to never drive when consuming alcohol, and give them a ribbon or pin to wear, or pens to use.
- Visual Impact Events
Candlelight services, community parades, and athletic event halftimes are all highly visible ways to promote prevention messages.
- Fun Events
Sponsor an alcohol-free tailgate, fun run, mix up mocktails at an event, sponsor an “Up All Night” party at your recreation center, declare a “natural highs” day on campus with fun games or kite giveaways.
- Lunch Time Programs
Make the most of captive audiences at meal hours by sponsoring educational trivia contests with prizes. Host brown bag lunches on hot topics like the drinking age, zero tolerance laws, or fake IDs.
- Use the Campus Media and Promote Events!
Get your campus newspaper, radio and television stations involved. For promotion, get Vince & Larry crash dummies to pose for photos and provide educational literature.
- Show a Film
Certain films like “28 Days,” “Traffic,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” or “When a Man Loves a Woman” set the scene for some great discussion. Include student leaders, faculty film buffs, and prevention people.
Ways Campus Judicial Offices Could Be Involved...
- Include educational sanctions and community service in your judicial process. Suggest campus NCAAW events as opportunities for learning about the effects of alcohol abuse.
- Give students real world information. What would happen to them if they were cited in the community for underage drinking, public intoxication, destruction of property, physical violence, etc.?
- Construct a display that talks about community fine amounts and then what students could purchase instead of paying fines....i.e. 30 compact disks, 60 pizzas, books for the year, 70 trips to the movies, etc.
- Have students write articles suitable for publication in the student newspaper on various student health and campus policy issues.
- Have students who have been sanctioned assist RAs in the residence halls and learn what it’s like to promote a positive living community.
- Work with the local judge to have students put in hours at the local community courts when alcohol-related cases are being heard.
- Have students volunteer in a community service agency that focuses on addiction recovery.
- Have the current peer education group on campus teach a sanction class on alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, violence, etc.
- Organize a “mock trial” which focuses on alcohol abuse related issues, i.e. DUI, alcohol poisoning, assault, etc.
Things Athletes and Recreational Sports Professionals Can Do...
- Use electronic media (such as scoreboards or marquees) to advertise prevention messages. Place ads in athletic programs or in the newspaper.
- Make prevention announcements at sporting events.
- Have athletes act as prevention mentors at local high or middle schools.
- Place prevention message on cups and/or napkins at athletic events.
- Have coaches and athletes make a public service announcement for radio or TV.
- Sponsor a responsible “tailgate” party in conjunction with an athletic contest.
- Hang safety and prevention banners in the gymnasium and at the fields.
- Sponsor or co-sponsor a fun, visible event in conjunction with NCAAW, such as a fun run or walk or a tug-o-war.
- Open the fitness center for longer hours.
- Offer free fitness demonstrations.
- Do blood pressure or cholesterol screenings.
- Have a sporting event marathon (softball, volleyball) to raise awareness and/or money.
- Offer free swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons.
- Offer a “performance and alcohol” workshop for athletes and those interested in fitness.
- Sell mocktails at athletic contests to promote NCAAW and to raise funds for other programs.
What Fraternities and Sororities Can Do...
- Sponsor a health and safety message banner contest between organizations.
- Sponsor a mocktail contest between groups.
- Host the “ideal” party with theme (alcohol free with proceeds going to prevention agencies).
- Have a fraternity and sorority chapter participate together in a safety workshop using an interactive program like Alcohol 101.
- Bring together all groups and sponsor a “Day of Dialogue” that would involve many representatives from the campus community and focus on improving behaviors surrounding misuse of alcohol.
- Place ads in the newspaper supporting the campus-wide prevention events, or social norms promoting positive behaviors.
- Have members attend the campus events.
- Ask an attorney to run a mock trial for a DUI case using students as the defendants, witnesses, and jury.
- Have a 5K or 10K run to raise awareness about student health and/or raise money for a local prevention agency.
- Volunteer to do community service projects with local agencies.
Ways Residence Life Staffs Can Be Involved...
- Have your own “Cannes Film Festival”. Incorporate some films that address issues surrounding alcohol abuse or personal safety in the area lounge.
- Conduct a progressive party with each hall responsible for a different food/beverage/dessert and then have people make the rounds from one hall to the other.
- Invite one of the campus counselors/members of the health center to be the guest for the night. Have them give a presentation that evening but then hang out with students.
- Have a mocktail contest.
- Do something to get in shape every day, a fun run on Monday, swimming on Tuesday, aerobics or weight training on Wednesday, etc.
- Perform peer theatre or skits on educational topics such as alcohol poisoning or sexual assault, followed by a discussion.
- Have your own talk show one night in the lounge, using your own format and creative questions to start a discussion on relationships.
- Do your own version of ‘the life experience wall’ where you ask people to write down on index cards how the abuse of alcohol or other drugs has affected their fife. These cards then make up the “bricks of the wall.
- Hand out laminated “saving a life from alcohol poisoning” cards to each resident.
- Incorporate alcohol awareness/prevention into the October in-service training.
Things Campus Police and Safety Can Do for NCAAW...
- Host a luncheon for all residence life folks explaining your role in the prevention process, and form a partnership.
- Invite members of the community to form a campus safe walk program that provides escorts at night.
- Using beer goggles, conduct a “field sobriety testing” experiment’ where students of age are put through the test given to suspected DUI offenders while wearing the beer goggles. Have
these students conduct simple tasks such as writing their name, walking a straight line, etc.
- Conduct a “mock DUI crash” which involves staging an accident on campus, local EMT and police and fire rescue professionals.
- Try to get a local cab company to offer a discounted price to anyone with a student ID in order to discourage impaired driving.
- Find out if any members of your public safety crew have any interesting educational experiences or interests that could become a campus program This may include workplace drug testing or Drug Enforcement Agency work etc.
- Do a program about the legal and financial costs of getting a DUI. Take the total costs of that arrest and do a “what you could have gotten instead of a DUI” campaign including, new stereo, computer, spring break in Cancun etc.
- Set up roadblocks/safety checks to check for impaired drivers.
Things Health Education, Health Centers & Counseling Centers Can Do...
- Curriculum Infusion
Contact Journalism and English classes to promote and enter the IATF Writing Contest addressing high risk drinking. Work with the student newspaper to feature some of these op-ed pieces in the paper during NCAAW. Ask marketing and advertising classes to develop campaigns for healthy choices to be featured in the newspaper.
Be creative and get as many departments on campus to participate as possible.
- Host a meeting of student organizations and peer educators to get input for each group’s participation in the week.
- Create fact sheets or offer to provide information for student groups, newspapers, and radio PSA’s for campus events.
- Add alcohol and other drug questions to your health center’s medical history questionnaires if they do not already appear.
- Work with community outreach or service learning on your campus to give students an opportunity to work in area halfway houses for recovering addicts.
- Invite recovering alumni back to campus as speakers for groups in which they were involved such as athletic teams, fraternities and sororities, student government, etc.
- Set up a health fair to coincide with the week. Offer local and campus resources that focus on healthy lifestyles.
- Provide an in service for faculty and staff on how to address students suspected of having alcohol and other drug problems.
Ideas for Chief Student Affairs Officers to Support NCAAW...
- Honor student organizations that promote healthy lifestyles with a letter of recognition, phone call, E-mail, or sponsor a luncheon.
- Write an article or letter to the editor of the student newspaper regarding the importance of the week of awareness and year of action to decrease alcohol-related problems on campus.
- Encourage staff and faculty to participate in events of the week. Provide incentives or flex time.
- Create a task force to review policy and make suggestions toward developing a healthier environment. Include community members and alumni on the committee.
- Meet with Academic Administrators and ask for help, ideas and support for the NCAAW on your campus. Encourage curriculum infusion of alcohol-related issues into each discipline during the week.
- Provide money for mini-grants for student organizations to sponsor alcohol-free events.
- Ask Parking Services to include a “Don’t drink and drive” or “Wear your seat belt” messages to the parking passes issued by the institution.
- Initiate a student leader town meeting on the issues of alcohol abuse on your campus. Ask leaders from Peer Education, Greek Community, Academic Honors Groups, and Athletic Teams to participate.
- Meet with students who have been in the judicial system for alcohol-related problems. Ask for their input and suggestions.
- Meet with local bar owners to discuss policies and mutual safety issues surrounding the campus.
- Participate in and be visible during NCAAW events.
- Include NCAAW as an agenda item for discussion with senior staff officers and faculty.
ENLISTING SUPPORT TO KEEP OUR CAMPUSES SAFE
Ways that Parents, Students, and the Campus Can Promote Year-Round Prevention Efforts . . .
Our campus, our community, and our families, all share in the concern for the safety and welfare of our students. All of these groups need to be partners in preventing college drinking tragedies. We urge parents and families to consider the role of alcohol before packing the car to head off to college. There are many resources available through the local campus, community agencies, and national organizations. There are many things that college students, parents, and college officials can do to prevent the harm that alcohol abuse can cause students and the campus community.
Suggestions for Parents
- Talk to your son or daughter about the legal use of alcohol and the need for responsible decision making; emphasize that “competitive” drinking, drinking as a hazing ritual, and drinking games can result in alcohol poisoning, and can kill even the most healthy young adult. Discuss any family history of chemical dependency.
- Explain clearly to your son or daughter that there is a balance between study time and social time, that he/she will need to find the balance that will meet the academic expectations you all agree on. Discuss the legal consequences of having a fake I.D.
- Talk to your son or daughter about the role of alcohol and how alcohol abuse can affect achieving his or her goals. Discuss the reality that peer pressure can occur about drinking choices.
- Keep the lines of communication open - call and e-mail often. Communicate as friends and as parents.
- Visit the campus and network with other families as well as other college officials. Encourage your son or daughter to become involved in campus life by joining organizations or working on projects of interest.
- Encourage your son or daughter to provide written authorization to the college to grant permission for the release of health and safety information to you.
Suggestions for Students
- Study. Remember the goals you are to achieve while you are in college!
- Stand up for your beliefs. If you do not drink alcohol, it is okay to say so. There are other students out there who feel the same. The majority of college students today are of legal age (21). Most students who choose to drink, use alcohol moderately.
- Have fun and socialize without the involvement of alcohol, be prepared that some students may pressure you to drink.
- Get involved in campus activities and if you can’t find a group that seems to fit you, it is surprisingly easy to form a new one!
- Go out in groups and watch out for your friends. If you all go out together, come home together too. Help each other get home safely. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning.
- Be aware of the campus education and counseling resources. Look for peer education programs and student led health and safety programs. Don’t forget that your family is a source of support too, so keep in touch often.
Suggestions for Colleges
- Make a firm statement that underage drinking will not be tolerated, and engage the local community in developing and enforcing the policy.
- Promote and sponsor many (and mainly) campus activities that are alcohol free.
- Provide alcohol-free living options.
- Adequately fund alcohol and other drug prevention personnel. Support peer education programs and student led initiatives.
- Disseminate campus alcohol and other drug policies that are uniformly enforced with all students, faculty, and staff.
- Encourage and be receptive to student feedback and involvement in maintaining a campus community that will be healthy, safe, and live up to the university mission of education and retention.
Colleges and universities should enlist the direct support of their president, who can write persuasively and effectively to the parents of incoming students and to the faculty stating the behavioral standards - setting the tone for community life - at the school. Faculty must be cognizant of being on the “front-line.” They are close to the students, influential, and intelligent observers. A student who needs help, through university or community resources, may be most obvious to a faculty member first. On a personal level, students need to hear that they are responsible as individuals, that they must know their own limit and consider their family history and genetic and physical makeup in determining whether and how much to drink. Teaching them how to handle acute intoxication of a classmate or friend should also be on the agenda.