What are the goals of this project?
The HadEnough project seeks to reduce the incidence of heavy drinking among students and to improve the quality of life on campus by re-defining the role of alcohol in student life. It aims to create a campus culture that is supportive of growth, fun, and achievement and intolerant of drunken behaviors, particularly those that negatively affect the campus community. We hope that this new cultural environment will result in a reduction in unsafe and unhealthy student drinking.
How will the project achieve its goals?
The project relies on two primary methods to accomplish its goals: a media campaign and grassroots advocacy. Student participation is a key element. Students assist in the development of the media campaign and plan and implement the advocacy campaign.
Rather than taking a traditional health promotion or social marketing approach, the media campaign more closely resembles a political campaign. Media messages seek to increase student awareness of alcohol issues and create a campus dialogue on the role of drinking in student life. They may do this by calling attention to problems that heavy drinkers create for other students, by publicizing alcohol-free social activities, or simply by asking students what they want their living environment to be like. Once the dialogue has begun, the media campaign invites and encourages student action to address alcohol problems on campus.
The media campaign creates a backdrop for student advocacy efforts to succeed, while student advocates capitalize on the dialogue and demand generated by the media campaign. Student advocates take part in and shape the dialogue through strategically placed letters to the editor, opinion pieces, issue forums, and other activities. As the dialogue progresses, advocacy efforts will help define new programs and policies. For example, students may hold a petition drive for more alcohol-free activities, or demand more substance-free housing
Who are the target populations for this campaign?
HadEnough's target population includes the entire university community. We aim to involve students, faculty, administrators, community members, parents, and alumni in an on-going dialogue about a less central role for alcohol in campus life and ways of achieving the best possible quality of life for all concerned. The campaign seeks both to empower students who drink moderately or not at all and to reach students who drink more heavily. Message development and placement take into account the particular need to attract underclass students who are striving to find their place at the university and who will shape the culture of the university in coming years.
If this project does not aim to change students' specific behaviors, what is it trying to do?
Students on participating campuses are trying to change the culture surrounding alcohol in order to de-emphasize the role of heavy drinking in student life and create new standards of behavior. We hope this shift will indirectly reduce heavy and abusive drinking, as it becomes less acceptable to get drunk and cause problems. The cultural shift should also lead to increased student support for university policies and practices that reflect the new standards and increased demand for alcohol-free social opportunities. In fact, recent research is showing that people may under-estimate levels of student support for alcohol policy reforms.
What is the time frame for accomplishing this goal?
Cultural change takes time. Researchers show a lag of two to three years between the initiation of campaigns aimed at cultural transformation and the onset of observable changes. The goal is to institutionalize campaign elements sufficiently, so that the participating schools can continue this dialogue after the project's completion.
What's the main problem standing in the way of this project?
The main obstacles the project faces include:
Who is our "competition"?
The main sources of competition come from brewing companies; bars; boredom; movies that glamorize heavy drinking, and from parents, alumni, and faculty who in some cases continue to portray heavy drinking as a collegiate "rite of passage."
Who are the campus contacts and organizers for this project?
Each participating campus has organized a campus alcohol policies task force and a student advisory committee on alcohol policy. The role of the task force is to guide the project by providing advice on how best to reach students with the campaign messages and how the campaign can most effectively support existing programming and prevention activities. The task force participates in the development and timing of campaign strategy and messages. Task force members' expertise assists in framing appropriate survey and focus group questions, identifying relevant data sources, facilitating contacts with students, analyzing project research components, and strengthening the impact of campaign messages.
The student advisory committee reviews proposed campaign messages and advises project staff about ways to reach students. Committee members also assist in identifying and recruiting key students or student groups to play an active role in the media campaign and to engage in campus advocacy activities designed to strengthen it. The committee, in collaboration with the task force, plans and implements student advocacy activities or recruits appropriate students to implement those activities.
Please address any additional questions to Kim Miller, Manager, College Initiatives, at (202) 332-9110 x 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.