Sep 182005
Authors: Nicole Barrett

Some students think "everyone" gets drunk or parties on a regular basis. However, they are wrong.

Negative behaviors regarding alcohol and college students tend to be blown out of proportion, which may lead students to believe stereotypes. Part of avoiding poor decisions is to expose the truth about actual behavior.

"The truth is the majority (of students) drink moderately or not at all," said Pam McCracken, director of alcohol and drug prevention and education.

About 97 percent of students engage in safety measures if and when they drink, such as having a designated driver, not playing drinking games and pouring their own drinks, McCracken said.

CSU will launch a campaign based on educating students about actual behaviors of their peers when it comes to alcohol. McCracken hopes the campaign will be launched the week of October 16 to 23, which is National Collegiate Awareness Week.

"Students are doing great things; the campaign will focus on encouraging behavior that already exists," McCracken said.

The campaign has the potential to be helpful.

"It's useful to use with college students," said Ernie Chavez, chair of the psychology department.

Students enter the college experience with preconceived ideas about drinking habits, said Anne Hudgens, executive director of campus life.

"Students expect more drinking than there actually is," Hudgens said

These expectations may lead students to assume that it's normal to get drunk, which may make them think it's okay to drink excessively, Chavez said. But not all students believe or follow what other students may be doing.

"If (students) are undecided they are impacted more," Chavez said.

Students may have set standards and ideals that also play a role in drinking behavior.

For students who don't drink at all, the campaign will show them they are not alone.

"The campaign lends a voice to students who don't drink and tells them to continue their behavior," McCracken said.

Overall, the campaign will seek to encourage the current positive behaviors of students. The goal is to inform and advocate students to be responsible.

"We know you are doing great things, that is really what it's all about," McCracken said.

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