We’re pleased to announce that the University of Buckingham and University of Buckingham Students’ Union have successfully obtained SOS-UK Alcohol Impact accreditation.
This illustrates the commitment and diligence of both the university and the students’ union to creating a social culture wherein alcohol consumption occurs responsibly, whilst developing a healthier, safer, more inclusive and productive student community.
Some of the highlights of their work include:
· The partnership has run well thought out alcohol awareness weeks, reinforcing the norms of responsible drinking and developed innovative interventions to communicate key messages. The partnership introduced two characters, AJ and Sam, who deliver key messages to students. The students have engaged positively with these characters.
· The partnership’s work to educate students and staff around spiking has been exceptional and noted throughout campus.
· The existence of a drug and alcohol worker within the wellbeing team, offering support, education and training is an asset to the institution. They have a very active role in discussing alcohol consumption with students whilst offering wellbeing support.
· The partnership took innovative steps to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol at their Swan Ball event, improving student safety and wellbeing. The students’ union demonstrated an innovative approach to mitigate any negative effects resulting from the Swan Ball, the measures put in place ensured the event ran safely. They should be commended for a successful event in which good practice can be used by other institutions.
· The partnership has taken proactive steps to reduce occurrences of drink driving, providing education but also tools for students to monitor their own drinking levels.
· The partnership has developed an excellent three tiered action plan to identify students that may be in need of additional support whilst not focussing too heavily on punishment.
· The students’ union and university has gone to great lengths to promote the inclusivity of those that choose not to drink. They have listened to students who did not want to drink from glasses that had previously contained alcohol and introduced the green glass initiative which a student may request for any non-alcoholic drink. They also offer a good range of non-alcohol events for students to engage in.
· The partnership has focused on working with local residents and the level of work here demonstrates their commitment to fostering a positive relationship between students and their neighbours. For example, they worked with a local newspaper to promote the awareness of responsible drinking initiatives, this was a great way to improve relationships with local residents and reinforce the norm of responsible drinking.
Gaining the Alcohol Impact accreditation has highlighted the wealth of pre-existing responsible alcohol-related work that has taken place on campus, in addition the development of several new innovative interventions.
"As a University and a Students' Union we learnt a lot from the Alcohol Impact Accreditation process that we plan to replicate in other elements of our work. I found the student audit particularly enlightening and was really impressed with how the framework SOS-UK created allowed our students to take ownership of the process and really challenge the organising committee."
“We will build on the success of the Alcohol Impact Accreditation by continuing to create a safer environment for our students on campus and finding ways to improve their relationship with alcohol.”
The University of Buckingham and University of Buckingham Students’ Union.