Campus Alcohol Coalition: Past Projects
The UWF You Have Choices! was a comprehensive, evidence-based program implemented at the University of West Florida from 2005-2009. The goals of UWF's program were to: 1) reduce alcohol misuse in UWF students; and 2) reduce the incidence of UWF students who experience negative consequences related to their and/or others' alcohol consumption.
You Have Choices!
The program utilized environmental strategies including coalition building and policy enforcement, coupled with social norms marketing and informational, knowledge-and motivation-based interventions to achieve its goals. The results included: 1) an increase in students' awareness of campus-related policies; 2) students' awareness of the availability of prevention programs; and 3) students' perception that alcohol policies are enforced.
- Social Norms Board of Trustees Presentation- 2008
- Best of Choices Alcohol Education: 1998-2008 Flyer
- Best of Choices Alcohol Education: 1998-2008 Booklet
Department of Education Model Program Grant
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) awards funds to universities whose alcohol and other drug use prevention programs are identified as exemplary, effective, or promising. In 2009, five programs were chosen, two as effective, and three as promising. UWF You Have Choices! was recognized as a promising program and was awarded a one year grant to enhance and further evaluate the effectiveness of our program.
With the DOE grant funding, we were able to better enhance the UWF You Have Choices! Program to include universal preventions strategies. As a result, we were able to evaluate the effectiveness of our alcohol awareness programming with incoming freshmen students in the Academic Foundations Seminar class, further evaluate our social norms marketing campaigns, and explore the effectiveness of alcohol prevention programming aimed at incoming freshmen that are identified as already having a high risk for developing alcohol related problems.
Town Hall Meeting
In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) declared a national goal to hold the highest number of Town Hall Meetings to address underage drinking. In 2008 more than 1,811 Town Hall Meetings were held across the United States with nearly 100% of participants reporting interest in becoming involved with the prevention of underage drinking in their communities. SAMHSA reports that "Town Hall Meetings not only helped to increase community engagement on the issue of underage drinking and its consequences, but have also helped to identify specific strategies for addressing the problem at the community level." SAMHSA supported a Town Hall Meeting held for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties with an award of a $500 stipend each to the UWF Campus Alcohol Coalition, the Northwest Florida Prevention Coalition, and the Community Drug and Alcohol Coalition. Together, these three community based organizations hosted a Town Hall Meeting focused on underage drinking prevention in Northwest Florida on September 14, 2009. The ultimate goals of the Northwest Florida Town Hall Meeting were threefold:
- Educate about alcohol prevention from an environmental management perspective
- Connect community agencies and key stakeholders
- Mobilize alcohol misuse/abuse prevention efforts at a community level
The Town Hall Meeting included opening remarks by UWF President Judy Bense and a presentation by leading substance abuse researcher Dr. Thomas Workman. Over 200 community members attended the presentations and participated in a question and answer session moderated by a local television anchor.
Social Norms/Marketing Campaigns
Our enhanced universal prevention strategies included a campus-wide social norms/health communications campaign targeting students on campus between the ages of 18- 24 years old (approximately 6000 students). Our evaluation of past social norms campaigns determined that the use of posters and other printed materials (banners, table tents, flyers, school paper and web-based promotions) are the most effective methods in having our social norms/health communication messages reach our target student population. We developed a total of eight social norms/health communication messages aimed to decrease alcohol use in underage drinkers, decrease problems related to alcohol use, decrease high-risk behaviors associated with alcohol use and/or increase protective factors associated with no use or responsible use.