The HadEnough project is a media and advocacy campaign focused on supporting student involvement to reduce binge drinking on college campuses. Since 1981, CSPI's Alcohol Policies Project has advocated policies to reduce the devastating health and social consequences of drinking. In December 1997, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) initiated the project in partnership with Cornell University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Beginning in the fall of 1999, CSPI began assisting a similar initiative at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Rather than focus on influencing individual student behaviors or perceptions, the HadEnough project promotes fundamental change in the campus drinking environment. The project seeks to empower students to spark a campus dialogue on the role of alcohol in college life and support practices and policies that reject and discourage the self-destructive, wasteful, and potentially dangerous excessive use of alcohol.
Plenty of students have been bothered or disturbed by drunken behaviors and the effects of heavy drinking -- such as being insulted, intimidated, threatened, inconvenienced, or just plain DISGUSTED! But they've felt isolated and alone, and didn't feel like they could speak up. After all, people seemed to accept the heavy drinking scene and take it for granted...just something we had to put up with as part of college life. No more! HadEnough gives voice to the many students who want to get the most out of our college years, and supports student action for change.
Student activism on campus alcohol issues is sparked by weariness of the "second-hand" effects of heavy drinking on the quality of student life --- from interrupted study and sleep, to destruction of property, assault, and unwanted sexual advances. Many are also called to action by the huge price students pay for college alcohol abuse, including the facts that:
Nationwide, each year college students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol, more than on books, soft drinks, tea, coffee, milk, and juice combined.
More of the nation's undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes than will go on to get MAs and PhDs combined;
Alcohol use by college students -- many of whom are minors -- is a factor in 40% of academic problems and 28% of dropouts.
Alcohol is a factor in the three leading causes of death among 15 - 24 year olds: accidents, homicides, and suicides.
95% of violent crime and 80% of all vandalism on campus is alcohol-related, and alcohol has been implicated in 90% of all reported rapes on some campuses.
Can students change the college alcohol scene? Seem radical or far-fetched?
It can happen. Consider the major social shift we experienced with cigarette smoking (not just on campuses, of course, but the example still applies). Believe it or not, there was a time not so long ago when it was considered perfectly acceptable to light up anywhere, anytime --- including in the classroom, on airplanes, in movies, and even in hospitals! In 1975, passing state laws requiring hospitals to provide smoke-free rooms was considered radical by many. At that time, people who were bothered by cigarette smoking -- or had a medical condition such as asthma that was aggravated by it -- did not feel empowered to speak up or defend their rights to breath clean air. That's a far cry from the norms we have come to accept today -- and the reaction we might expect today if someone lit up a cigarette on an airplane or in a movie theatre (don't try it, but you get the picture!).
Please address any additional questions to Noemi Fuentes, Director, Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence, at (212) 870-3699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.