Why get involved?
As a faculty or staff member at NDSU, you have an opportunity to influence campus health and safety through your involvement and knowledge of alcohol and other drugs prevention efforts. You have influence on students and can make a difference in students' choices regarding alcohol and other drugs.
How you can get involved:
There are a variety of ways in which faculty and staff can help alcohol and other drug prevention efforts.
Use Your Syllabus
As you create your syllabus, and set norms and expectations for student behavior, consider including information on the effects of alcohol misuse on academic performance.
Correct Student Misperceptions
Our research clearly shows that students have many misperceptions concerning the role of alcohol use in the lives of other NDSU students. Students consistently overestimate the amount of alcohol their peers consume, including frequency of consumption, participation in at-risk drinking (i.e.,drinking games), and the frequency of negative consequences (i.e., missing classes, hangovers). You can make a significant impact by being knowledgeable about actual alcohol use statistics and avoiding statements that might reinforce these misperceptions.
Make a Comment, Or Don't
Monitor personal language and examples to avoid promoting alcohol abuse.
Take Advantage of Teachable Moments
Use serious situations as teachable moments. When alcohol-related events occur in the media or discussions come up in the classroom, take the opportunity to discuss alcohol. For example, discuss appropriate behavior, balancing social and academic life, the effects of alcohol use on academic performance, or challenge misperceptions concerning the role of alcohol in campus life.
Take a Few Minutes in Class
By being vocal about alcohol issues, faculty can play an important role in raising awareness. Faculty can use opportunities such as current events and upcoming campus events to speak out about alcohol issues as they relate to class topics, student conduct, and academics.
Bring it Up During Advising
Advising activities present an excellent opportunity to address alcohol related issues. Bring up the issue of alcohol use with your advisees and determine if alcohol may be having a negative impact on their academic performance.
Make a Referral
Too often, students in trouble do not ask for help directly, but faculty and some staff members are in a unique positions to offer help in the way of a referral to assessment or counseling services. Close contact between faculty/staff and students may be used as a vehicle for identification and referral of students with alcohol problems to appropriate services on campus or in the community.
Faculty, in any discipline, can integrate alcohol-related content into their curriculum. Below are some ways that alcohol and other drug information could be shared within already established courses.
Create an Assignment
Alcohol and other drug use, related problems, and prevention measures in our society are influenced by many of the factors studied in the social sciences, courses in fields such as economics, sociology, anthropology, criminology, and political science are natural venues for linking academics with alcohol issues.
Dedicate a Class to Alcohol Issues
Find ways to integrate discussions on alcohol and alcohol-related issues into your academic classes.
Create a Research Project
Having students collect data on alcohol use or other alcohol-related issues can be an excellent research topic. Alcohol-related topics can be easily integrated into the syllabus of almost any class.
Faculty can incorporate student service into course work or supervise students who work as volunteers. Student service can be connected with ongoing alcohol abuse prevention efforts or other efforts to promote safer and healthier environments. Supervise service learning activities, either as course requirements or as extracurricular events.
Some information provided on this page was adapted, with permission, from the Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center at Virginia Tech. www.alcohol.vt.edu