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AlcoholEdu/Sexual AssaultEdu Informs Students, Makes Them Safer

Posted: August 22, 2011
Thanks to a new web-based prevention course, AlcoholEdu for College, students new to Buffalo State will be savvier about the potential dangers of alcohol abuse and sexual assault.

“Students don’t necessarily come to college equipped to deal with the personal challenges they might face,” said Charles B. Kenyon, associate vice president and dean of students. “We want to intervene early, to have students think about drinking before getting caught up in it.”

Buffalo State has also enrolled in the sexual assault component of the program, Sexual AssaultEdu, which helps students understand the meaning of consent, how to help a friend, and how to intervene in a situation that might escalate into sexual assault.

The program gives students resources on what they can do about alcohol and sexual assault from a baseline preventative standpoint, explained Ron George, case manager for the campus Counseling Center.

“Even for the students who don’t drink, the program empowers them to be helpful bystanders,” George said. “They can learn what signs to look for in a friend who may be in trouble after drinking too much.”

Alcohol/Sexual AssaultEdu also informs students about campus programs and resources where they can get more information, find support, or get involved in other prevention efforts.

Buffalo State is requiring all first-year and transfer students to take the course. Additionally, returning students, such as student leaders, athletes, and those in Greek organizations, will be asked to take the course.

Students took the first part of the course over the summer and are expected to have completed it by August 23. The second part, administered in October, will gauge the “college effect” on students’ views and habits after spending 45 days on campus.

The institution never sees individual answers to the course. Rather, results are funneled into cumulative data that maps out student drinking trends, patterns, and beliefs.

Outside The Classroom Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that addresses public health issues affecting educational, corporate and government institutions, developed AlcoholEdu. More than 500 colleges and universities have since used the program, producing the world’s largest database on college students and alcohol.

According to a three-year investigation conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, colleges that adopted the program saw a significant reduction in the frequency of alcohol use, binge-drinking, and alcohol-related problems such as blackouts, drunk driving, and sexual assaults.
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