Alcohol misuse represents a serious health issue for colleges and universities around the country. Surveys indicate the majority of college students drink regardless of their age and that approximately two out of every five college students engage in high risk drinking. High-risk drinking is associated with unintentional injury (e.g., motor vehicle crashes, falls, and drownings), sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, sexual assault, violence, and poor academic performance. In 2005 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimated over 1,700 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 696,000 assaults annually associated with excessive drinking. Further, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, high-risk drinking epitomizes the greatest single problem that America's universities must address.
UF now requires new students to participate in an alcohol education and awareness program prior to registration. A hold will be placed on a student's record and they cannot register, if they have not done this online program. A person has to score 80% or higher to pass.
Of course it doesn't state what happens if someone fails it!
I feel like I'm living in a nanny society. I'm 38 years old and I don't need an education on alcohol awareness and if I did, it's not the University's job to do it. This has got to be another one of those CYA (cover your ass) programs where UF won't feel so guilty if some idiot student goes out and gets himself or someone else killed due to an alcohol related incident.
I'm sure UF administration doesn't want anyone to die from something as preventable as an alcohol related incident. But do you really think that this online tutorial and quiz is really going to change anything? No. The only students who will benefit from the alcohol awareness program are the students who already have enough sense not to abuse it in the first place. Which is why I think this is just another one of those "feel good" programs hastily put together by administration after a number of dumb students wound up dead because they lacked good judgment.
If you're going to enforce this on students how about faculty too? I mean isn't there some responsibility in faculty members who engage in ridiculous alcohol-related antics with their students? I mean faculty members who supply their students with alcohol, who encourage and frequently attend student outings at local bars, who participate in upside-down margaritas and keg stands, who drive drunk themselves from time to time? Surely their actions have as many if not more negative consequences on the University community and the students!
While we're at it, I could suggest a number of other so-called CYA awareness programs (forthcoming) the administration could put together, because after all, it is the University's job to make sure that Johnny goes through college unscathed physically or mentally. We've got to make sure he is adequately protected from the ills of society, at all costs!