Promotion of alcohol and safety advice, along with campaigns and resources can amend negative attitudes about alcohol and encourage responsible consumption amongst students
It has been suggested that messaging given to students, with the aim of altering behaviour, needs to be credible and relevant. In the context of alcohol, it is important that students feel confident to negotiate social situations and choose not to drink, or to drink less than others if they want to (Mentor, 2013).
There are several national alcohol-related events that universities can get involved with, these include Alcohol Awareness Week or Dry January. Alternatively, most bespoke events or campaigns can be implemented at key points of the academic year to promote responsible consumption amongst students. The Alcohol Impact project encourages partnerships to ensure a large number of students are reached through these campaigns and that the impact of this is monitored and evaluated.
Alcohub at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
- The MMU Residential Life team have created an 'Alchohub' information poster promoting their pop-up stalls as part of their Alcohol Awareness Week campaign
- The campaign, both in student halls and through MMU Browzer Student Living website, has reached in excess of 3500 students with over 200 attending the pop-up stalls
- Manchester Student Homes promoted a 'Wary of Light Fingers (WOLF)' student personal safety stall at MMU also as part of this campaign
- Additionally, Manchester Student Homes provided students with information and advice to raise awareness of issues relating to student personal safety within the Manchester area - the information was developed in partnership with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council
Think Before You Drink at Durham University
- Durham University implemented 'Think Before You Drink' Alcohol Awareness Week
- Activities included: alcohol and safety talk, drunk stories screen (sharing negative experiences that have happened on a night out), pub quiz, tea and toast, information on mixing alcohol and drugs, alcohol and money talk, free soft drinks, drink spiking awareness stalls etc.,
- Events were well attended with more than 170 students accessing the 'Have a Word' roadshows, 60 students attending the drug information sessions, 1020 attending the drug and alcohol roadshows, 14 attending an energy drinks seminar and 25 attending the college bespoke alcohol awareness sessions
Lancaster University and Students' Union (LUSU)
- Lancaster University and LUSU promote 'Dry January'
- This is promoted to students by an email newsletter and through social media which directs students to a dedicated page on the SU website where they can access further information
- A testimonial from a current student undertaking Dry January was promoted to students at the middle of the month, talking about the benefits of abstaining from alcohol for a period of time
Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)
- Promoted the Dry January campaign on social media and encouraged students to take the pledge to have an alcohol-free month
Alcohol Awareness Week at Keele University and SU
- The Keele partnership organise two annual week-long alcohol awareness campaigns; one during the national Alcohol Awareness Week and one in February
- Activities include: alcohol free activities (e.g., free trips to the local trampoline park, information stands with free goody bags and interactive activities, social media messaging)
- There was a 16% increase in students reporting that they are aware of responsible drinking campaigns taking place on campus between 2015 and 2016 (NUS Alcohol Impact Survey)
Bucks New University and Bucks Students' Union Alcohol Awareness
- The partnership ran pop-up alcohol awareness information stands at various wellbeing events such as the 'Health and Wellbeing Fair' and at different Students' Union led events