SIUC awarded $30,000 for alcohol awareness campaign

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale will launch a campaign focused on promoting good health behaviors among students when it comes to drugs and alcohol

SIUC has been awarded a three year and $30,000 the National Collegiate Athletic Association Choices Alcohol Education Grant to fund a social media and video campaign, according to Dawn Bloyd Null, wellness coordinator for Student Health Services-Wellness and Health Promotion Services. 

The program is being called SalukiChoices and will encompass a number of students and staff working together on several projects.

"The purpose of the SalukiChoices program is to create positive change on campus," Null said. "By fostering harm-reduction behaviors we hope to reduce the number of SIU students who misuse alcohol, enabling students to flourish academically, personally and professionally,"

A part of the several step program, the University plans to produce a series of videos such as fun music videos or parodies that incorporate the healthy behavior message.

Often times, students drink to excess because of peer pressure or the misconception that everyone else is doing it or drinking more than they really are, Kathy Jones, senior associate athletic director, said.

The University plans on implementing a student advocacy and alcohol task force called "Positive Paw Pressure."

"They will help their fellow students understand there is more than one way to be a happy college student these days," Jones said.

The alcohol task force, comprised of various stakeholders including students, faculty and staff, will review existing campus alcohol policies and procedures and make recommendations for changes members feel would benefit students.

Through evidence-based techniques, the SalukiChoices program uses multiple intervention methods that combine behavioral and environmental strategies to encourage harm reduction and healthy decision making. Its success will be evaluated through various assessments including the National College Health Assessment survey and the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey.

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