The CCC’s strategies for reducing dangerous drinking include:
- College Alcohol Risk Assessment (CARA)
- The CCC began gathering information about campus drinking behavior using the CARA. Members scanned bulletin boards, monitored news, features and advertising in student and local media, and attended off-campus parties.
- Annual Student Survey
- Each spring, hundreds of UMass Amherst students are surveyed to track their beliefs and behaviors around alcohol. Survey data helps the CCC identify issues and trends, while evaluating the impact of its strategies.
- The CCC hosts forums with neighbors, law enforcement agencies and municipal leaders to learn about their concerns and gather input and ideas.
- Focus Groups
- Student focus groups help develop and evaluate the images and messages used in the CCC’s marketing materials.
Posters on campus area buses spotlight alcohol-related laws.
CCC members, with the guidance of national expert Peter Lake, helped review and revise campus alcohol polices. As a result, the quantity of alcohol allowed in dorms was reduced; drinking games and paraphernalia were banned; and consequences for violations were strengthened.
Off-campus, the CCC’s research into legal avenues to stop alcohol abuse and nuisance parties has led to implementation of stricter bylaws and regulations in area communities.
More comprehensive policies are supported by consistent enforcement by campus and community authorities. CCC meetings, community roundtables and networking have strengthened relationships, communication and partnerships across jurisdictions.
Educational programs are helping students better understand the rights and responsibilities of using alcohol. Recent accomplishments include expanded advertising, printed materials; interactive presentations for new students and their parents; implementation of a mandatory online alcohol education course; and support for BASICS, the campus intervention and screening program.
Social Norms Marketing Campaign
Social norms messages share facts and help dispel myths.
Social norms are people’s beliefs about what’s normal in a given situation. Beliefs can cause people to change their behavior; this can be useful or destructive, depending on how accurate the perceptions are.
At UMass Amherst, like at many other schools, there's a big gap between students' perceived and actual drinking behaviors. People believe most students are drinking a lot, a lot of the time, when in fact, the majority drinks moderately, if at all.
Retail Partners Campaign
The CCC is working together with area bars, restaurants and package stores in reducing dangerous drinking in our community.