Blame it on the alcohol

Aug 222011
Authors: Jason Pohl

Thousands of CSU students had one more thing to get done last week in addition to buying books, unpacking bags and trying not to get lost on campus.

This year, the university implemented a new mandatory alcohol and sexual assault training program for first-time students under age 23. A similar program was put in place six years ago, but only a small percentage of students actually completed the course.

“This is population inoculation,” said Jody Donovan, the Dean of Students at CSU. “This shows that we are actively on the front end to correct the misinformation that is out there.”

Peer institutions, including Oklahoma State University and Montana State University, have implemented the same program and have seen positive feedback in their results, according to Donovan.

The program is called Alcohol Edu/Sexual Assault Edu. It includes three anonymous surveys and several different types of questions and scenarios. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) calculations, standard drinks and physiological science are all topics discussed throughout the program.

Students must pass a comprehensive exam at the end of the course with a score of at least 80 percent.

Junior transfer student John Vanoppen, 20, said the program was “interesting” and said there were some positive parts to the program overall.

“Students might as well pay attention,” he said. “We might as well get the facts. It gets everyone on the same page.”

Another student expressed concern about the length of the program but said it was not too bad when broken into multiple sections.

“Nothing really jumped out,” said Lance LiPuma, a freshman biomedical sciences major. “The exam at the end was fine, and the videos made it flow better.”

LiPuma also said parts of the program “seemed like a scare tactic.”

The program is divided into two stages. The first part of the program was due Monday. In about six weeks, email invitations will be sent to students who will then be able to complete the second portion.

Those who do not complete part two by the Oct. 10 deadline will have a hold placed on their account, preventing class registration for spring semester.

The program is expected to cost about $31,500 according to Christina Berg, the Hartshorn Health Services Director at CSU. About $7,000 for the sexual assault portion is coming from the central fund of the university.

The remaining alcohol portion of the program comes from a reallocation of student fees acquired by the CSU Health Network, according to Berg.

“If one does the math, it is about $5.38 per person for this population-based prevention program,” Berg said. “Over all, the program plays a role in helping keep our students safer while supporting student success.”

The results of the project will be made available after the October deadline.

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at

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