BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY

July 25, 2005
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Hoffman Rentner
Hoffman Rentner

U.S. Department of Education Grant Backs BGSU Fight with High-Risk Drinking

BGSU is among 20 colleges and universities—and the only one in Ohio—to be awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant aimed at preventing high-risk drinking or violent behavior among college students.

One of 155 applicants nationwide, BGSU received the maximum $300,000 award for a two-year project expanding the University’s efforts to reduce student high-risk drinking, defined as having five or more alcoholic drinks in a sitting more than once in a two-week period.

Although that definition applied for about 56 percent of BGSU students surveyed in a biennial American College Health Association assessment last fall, the percentage has dropped by 5.6 percent since 2000. Contributing to the reduction has been what’s called a social norms approach, which has been used since 1997 in an attempt to change student attitudes and behaviors and the campus social environment.

Pointing out that student perception of alcohol consumption by peers is much higher than reality is an example of the social norms approach, which will remain a primary part of the overall strategy. New, secondary strategies will include completion of an interactive, online prevention program by high-risk groups of students—first-year students, athletes and members of Greek organizations—and training of campus and community representatives to deal with alcohol poisoning.

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