High Risk Drinking Prevention Strategies

While alcohol abuse and high risk drinking can occur on any given weekend, historically, certain weekends pose more of a risk than others. National Marquette Day has become one of those weekends.

A number of initiatives are in place to assist in high risk drinking prevention:

    1. Letter to students on Thursday, 2/7/19 from VP of Student Affairs, VP and Director of Athletics, and Chief of Police posted on Marquette Today and also on the Vice President for Student Affairs website.
    2. Prevention and Alcohol-Free Programming:

Friday, Feb. 8

      • Craft Your Spirit, 9 p.m. in the AMU, Monaghan Ballrooms | Get game-day ready and put those idle hands to work making some of the coolest crafts you can take to the game, all while enjoying free food.

Saturday, Feb. 9

      • Meet-Up at the Commons, 9 a.m. in Commons Dining Halll. Enjoy breakfast, swag giveaways and a Marquette-themed photo booth. Busses to the Men's Basketball game will leave for Fiserv Forum from the event.
      • Game-Watching Party, 12 p.m. in The Commons. Don't have game tickets? Join us in The Commons theater to cheer on the Golden Eagles as they take on Villanova.
      • Escape Rooms, 9 p.m. in the AMU, Marquette Place. Find clues, solve riddles and work together to escape the adventure with your team. Come solo or with a group to experience the puzzles for free. 

Steps Faculty Can Take to Assist with Prevention

  • Understand campus policies and available resources:
  • Identify and refer at-risk students to appropriate resources:
  • Incorporate studies of alcohol use and consequences into coursework.
  • Conduct joint research with alcohol prevention staff.
  • Support student internship and practicum.
  • Consistent enforcement of academic standards.
  • Schedule quizzes and exams on Friday mornings. (NOTE: this strategy is recommended for campuses that have a culture in which Thursdays are high risk days. Marquette tends to be have binge drinking on Friday/Saturday, but we do have data that suggests students also binge to some degree on Thursdays.)
  • Take attendance in class.
  • Avoid scheduling exams to purposely circumvent days/events that tend to involve heavy use of alcohol.
  • Discontinue language that supports drinking as normative.
  • Discontinue actions that signal acceptance of alcohol use (e.g., drinking with students, scheduling out of class time at bars).
  • Schedule exams on Mondays and Tuesday instead of Thursdays or Fridays.

If I'm concerned, what should I do and who do I call?

Our office is only one resource that you have available to you. Here are some links to other offices on our campus to assist you with your concerns.

Counseling Center
The Counseling Center has a strong and diverse staff to assist students from issues of alcohol and drugs to stress to relationships. If you are concerned about a student, you are welcome to call and speak with a counselor about ways to reach out to your student. They can also assist you in a referring the student to their office.

Marquette University Police Department
MUPD works with students on proactive ways to remain safe and healthy on campus. They offer workshops on self-defense, room security, and interpersonal violence. Visit their website for more information.

Office of Residence Life
Hall Directors, Hall Ministers, Resident Assistants, and the Central Staff are allies to you in educating students on our campus. If you have a concern about a students welfare outside of the classroom, contacting their Hall Director (if they live on campus) is a great first step.

Marquette University Medical Clinic
Marquette University Medical Clinic is a fully operating clinic to assist in the medical needs of a student. Within their department, the Center for Health Education and Promotion work to bring awareness of health concerns to the student body.

Further Actions You Can Take

From our administration of AlcoholEdu for College and the Core Alcohol and Other Drug Surveys, we know that many students perceive that alcohol use is higher than reality. We also know that a strong majority of alcohol use occurs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

In addition, a survey by Wood, Sher, and Rutledge (2007) looked at the culture of weekend drinking in relationship to Friday classes (read the article). They found that students with Friday classes before 10 a.m. were less likely to drink. However, they also found that students who are heavier drinkers attempt to select classes that do not fall on Friday. This study was focused only at one campus, but it gives some validity to holding class to prevent students from drinking during the week.

Anecdotally we know that academic responsibilities are a protective factor against high-risk drinking. We commend you for holding students to high expectations.

Other Information to be aware of:

Students do not always understand the full effects of alcohol in their life. This is specifically true around alcohol’s effect on the brain. Many are aware of the immediate effects, such as lack of coordination and memory loss (after heavy use). Few realize the longer term effects that alcohol has on concentration and memory after a night of binge drinking.

Here are some facts for you:

  • When intoxicated, one may sleep more soundly during the first half of the night; during the second half of the night, however, one will sleep lightly and be easily woken.
  • Rapid eye movement (REM) decreases during the first half of the night after light moderate drinking; this is followed by REM rebound during the second half of the night. Heavy drinking, however, will compromise one's REM throughout the night. (i.e. It decreases the deep, restful part of the sleep cycle.)
  • Physiologically, sleep deprivation results in the suppression of normal hormonal levels, which ultimately decreases your oxygen availability and consumption. All of this substantially decreases endurance due to temporary impairment of the aerobic pathways.
  • Consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in one night can affect brain and body activities for up to three days.
  • Two consecutive nights of drinking five or more alcoholic beverages can affect brain and body activities for up to five days.

Being aware of these facts can aid you in helping to explain to a student the importance of not drinking or, especially, not drinking in high-risk ways.

Additional Resources

For more information, please contact Sara Smith, sara.e.smith@marquette.edu.