Binge drinking a decade later: judicial officers react to reduction strategies
Hammat, Jennifer Renee
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For years, college administrators have been aware of the concerns associated with binge drinking on college campuses. Binge drinking refers to the rapid or subsequent consumption of alcoholic beverages; generally quantified as 4 successive drinks for women or 5 successive drinks for men. In the early 1990s, the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) was making headlines in higher education with their estimated prevalence rates of binge drinking on college campuses. Once the initial findings of the 1993 CAS study were released, and the concerns of college presidents and administrators had also been examined, Dr. Henry Wechsler of the Harvard School of Public Health published a list of guidelines in 1996 known as the 12-Step Program as a flexible guide to college administrators who were concerned about the binge drinking problems on their campuses in order to serve as a starting point to attack the issue. This study asked campus judicial officers about the implemented 12-Step Program strategies on their campuses, and if those efforts had reduced the number of alcohol-related cases they were adjudicating. The campus judicial officers surveyed were all members of the Association for Student Judicial Affairs (ASJA). The study found that all 12 recommended strategies had been implemented at varying levels on colleges. It also showed campus judicial officers perception of the binge drinking reduction efforts was correlated to the percentage of alcohol-related cases they hear. There was no statistically significant difference in reported percentages of alcohol-related cases by institutional size, institutional type, or by ASJA circuit. Additionally, there was no statistically significant difference in implementation strategies by institutional size, institutional type, or by ASJA circuit. The two most statistically significant steps of the 12-Step program to be considered for implementation was determined to be 1) assess the ways in which alcohol is affecting your campus and 2) freshman orientation should start long before students arrive on campus. This study also established a baseline of college discipline officer data as it pertains to alcohol-related incidents and reduction strategies.