Senate approves mandatory alcohol education

Starting in the fall, first-year students will be required to complete an online alcohol education course intended to increase their awareness of drinking-related issues.

Under the measure approved April 13 by the Faculty Senate, new students who fail to complete the 75-minute web-based training will have a hold placed on their registration account until the requirement is fulfilled. The program is backed by Michael Gargano, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life, as a way to guarantee that all incoming students receive critical information concerning alcohol.

The course, which is offered through MyStudentBody.com, is a confidential, interactive program that provides each user with personalized feedback and emergency and referral information. Resident assistants, sorority and fraternity members and first-year student-athletes were required to complete the course by last February and satisfaction with the program was high, according to the senate’s Student Affairs and University Life Council.

“We think the Vice Chancellor’s confidence in the program is justified because randomized, controlled clinical trials were used to evaluate it,” said the council’s report. “In the studies, students who completed ‘MyStudentBodyAlcohol’ reported significant decreases in their alcohol use.”

The council noted that binge drinking episodes, typical drinking frequency and the quantity of alcohol consumed on special occasions all decreased during the study period.