Feb 202005
Authors: Anne Farrell

Many people might head off to college thinking it is a time to party, but not all freshmen drink.

Survey results presented to the CSU Alcohol Task Force stated that 44 percent of CSU freshmen did not drink beer in 2004.

"I think that's impressive, I would have thought the percentage would be lower," said Megan Daly, a junior construction management major.

The Higher Education Research Institute, a program within the graduate school at the University of California-Los Angeles, conducted the survey as a part of "Your First College Year," which is administered nationally the day before classes begin.

The survey was received by 1,418 first-year CSU students and contained information regarding all aspects of transitioning to college, including free time, volunteerism and party habits in the past year.

Other questions included discussing politics (28.7 percent), performing volunteer work (44.2 percent) and staying up all night (77 percent). The UCLA survey is in its 39th year of existence and is the nation's longest standing and most comprehensive assessment of student attitudes and plans conducted in association with the American Council on Education.

"This (survey) is a snapshot of freshmen as they are walking in the door as they begin their academic year at Colorado State University," said David McKelfresh, director of assessment and research in the Division of Student Affairs.

Thirty-eight percent of students surveyed reported that they did not drink wine or liquor throughout the year. This is lower than the national average.

CSU improved from 2003 to 2004 in the categories of beer and wine/liquor, with 45 percent never having taken an alcoholic drink, 41.5 percent not drinking beer and 43 percent not drinking wine or liquor.

In addition to the results regarding alcohol use, it was reported that 43 percent of those surveyed spent an hour or less a week partying.

"You would expect people to drink because they're away from home for the first time, but there are a portion of students who might not choose to (drink)," said Stephanie Kattrell, a junior natural resources recreation and tourism major.

The survey is broken down by gender and compares CSU to similar institutions on a national level. Researchers, practitioners and policy makers on campus and the Alcohol Task Force members analyzed it.

This will be the first time the survey will also be administered in the spring with similar questions regarding student changes, growth and development.

"I think there's a lot on the line now and a lot of people are concerned with being here and staying in school," said Candace Carter, a junior wildlife biology major. "I don't think the recent deaths had too much of an effect on people (drinking or not)."


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