Campus News

Drinking citations on campus decrease, report shows

UHS AlcoholEdu survey results showed 25 percent of the 2016 freshman class were non-drinkers and remained non-drinkers after six weeks on campus.

Image By: Luke Kubasta

First-year students on campus are more likely to be low-risk, rather than high-risk, drinkers, according to a new report from University Health Services.

The UHS AlcoholEdu survey results showed 25 percent of the 2016 freshman class were non-drinkers and remained non-drinkers after six weeks on campus. Additionally, 62 percent of the class were classified as low-risk drinkers, meaning they reported having 0-4 drinks when they go out.

The increasing percentage of low-risk first-year student drinkers has been a trend at UW-Madison over the past few years and has been increasing since 2013, according to UHS Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Jennifer Rabas.

According to Rabas, the university has seen a five percent increase in the number of low-risk drinkers since 2013. Rabas attributed this increase to campus-wide efforts to crack down on underage drinking. She said efforts from UW-Madison University Housing have been effective in curbing excessive drinking.

“University Housing has changed several of its policies to make sure its policies reflect wellness and safety,” Rabas said. “House Fellows have received better training every year on how to give motivational interviewing, how to build community and how to deal with alcohol use on the floor.”

A UW-Madison Police Department Annual Report, released in March, echoed these results. According to the report, the number of alcohol-related citations on campus decreased from 1,131 in 2014 to just 766 in 2016.

Rabas said preliminary AlcoholEdu results for 2017 already show an increased percentage of low-risk drinkers in this year’s incoming class. While just 25 percent of first-year students have completed the survey, 65 percent of them are classified as low-risk drinkers, according to Rabas.

The second half of the AlcoholEdu survey closes Nov. 10.

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