Recent alcohol-related tragedies are still fresh for students and staff as another school year begins. Last October, a Washington State University freshman consumed a lethal amount of alcohol paired with energy drinks. In January, a freshman at the University of Idaho became disoriented after leaving a party and succumbed to hypothermia.
Reaching out to college freshmen about responsible drinking habits within their first two weeks of school is key to helping them have a successful school year, says Jennifer Summers, director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Student Success at the University of Oregon. Outreach is one of many strategies school administrators and health officials have adopted. Both University of Idaho and Washington State University have implemented new rules and requirements to curb dangerous drinking.
We’ll talk to two school health experts to find out more about what they’ve been doing differently on campus and some of the results they’ve seen.
Do you think a zero-tolerance to underage drinking or programs that teach responsible drinking are a better approach?
- Jennifer Summers: Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Student Success at the University of Oregon
- Melissa Osmond: Associate Director for Health Promotion at Lewis and Clark College