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Freshmen Alcohol and Drug Policy Survey - Fall 2000

Summary of Results

Overview:

  • The purpose of the Freshmen Alcohol and Drug Policy Survey was to assess the current perception of CU-Boulder's new freshmen and transfer students' on drinking and on CU-Boulder policies regarding drinking. The survey assessed their
    • perceptions of drinking on the CU-Boulder campus
    • knowledge of various policies (including three strikes)
    • prior experience with alcohol
    • decisions about when and where to party
    • current alcohol behavior and experience with second-hand effects
  • The survey was administered the first week of classes, Fall 2000, in the residence halls.
    • Population: all new freshmen and transfer students
    • Sample: N = 525, 25 students from each residence hall
    • Response rate: 60%, excellent for this type of survey
  • Data were analyzed for the entire sample and for subgroups (men versus women, resident versus non-resident students)
  • Differences by subgroups are noted below where they differ significantly
  • For the detailed results of these findings, see Tables A-B-C, which are organized by the response formats of the survey items. The text highlights below show question numbers from the survey in parenthesis after each statement. These question numbers reference the relevant data in the tables.

Highlights

Perceptions of drinking:

  • Almost 1/3 thought drinking was a problem at UCB, but half thought it was not a problem (Q1)
  • 3/4 thought the problem was about the same as at other colleges (Q2)
    • Non-residents and males were more likely than residents and females to say drinking is NOT a problem
    • Non-residents were more likely than residents to think drinking at UCB is LESS of a problem than at other schools
  • Nearly 2/3 (62%) thought UCB efforts to address alcohol issues on campus are "about right;" nearly 1/3 thought too much is being done (Q23)
    • Non-residents were more likely than residents to say too much is being done

Prior alcohol exposure:

  • 83% of students reported attending events in their senior year at which alcohol was served; over half attended such events one or more times per week. (Q5)
    • Non-residents were much more likely than residents to attend such events one or more times per week

Social functions and current alcohol behavior:

  • Nearly all (96%) respondents said they find out about social functions from their friends (Q6); virtually all thought their friends find out from other friends. (Q7)
  • Students said they make their decision about where to go (when they go out or attend a social function) fairly spontaneously (44% the same day and 42% two hours or less before going out). (Q8)
  • Among social activities listed on the survey, attending private parties was the most popular (70%); attending movies was the second most popular. (Q9)
  • Most students said they party on Friday and Saturday nights, though 1/3 also said Thursday nights (Q10).
    • Non-residents were more likely than residents to party on Thursday nights
  • Less than 1/3 of students reported hearing about any particular drink special since arriving on campus (Q11); very few (5% or less) had actually participated in any of the promotions listed (though 24% said participated in "other" promotions -- not listed). (Q12)
  • 28% of respondents already had experienced at least one undesirable negative consequence of anotherís drinking (13% sleep interrupted, 5% found vomit, 8% had to baby-sit a drunk student). (Q4)

Policy awareness and support:

  • Nearly all had heard about UCB's alcohol/drug policy (Q13); over half said they had heard about "recent changes" to the policy. (Q21)
    • Of those who had heard of changes, most had heard of the changes from their Resident Advisor.
  • Nearly 2/3 thought the practice of suspending violators after three offenses is "about right," but nearly 1/3 thought it is "too harsh." (Q24)
    • Nonresidents were more likely than residents to think itís too harsh
  • Most knew three strikes suspension would last one semester (Q19); most knew they wouldnít get their tuition refunded (but 1/3 thought they would). (Q20)
    • Males and nonresidents were more likely than females and residents to think their tuition would be refunded if they were suspended
  • Students varied in their perceptions of which sanctions they thought would occur if they were suspended for alcohol/drug violations. (See TABLE D for the overall results, and results by gender and residency.) The first three sanctions are ones the University endorses.
    • About half thought they would have to go to an alcohol education program.
    • About half thought their parents would be notified.
    • Approximately 1/3 thought they would be suspended from the University.
    • 18% thought they would be expelled.
    • 5% thought "nothing would happen."

Follow up efforts to the survey

  • During the academic year, 2000-2001, there was a campaign in the residence halls to publicize UCB's alcohol/drug policies and some of the findings of this survey. The goal of the campaign was to help students become more aware of the status of drinking among their peers and the facts about UCB's policies.
  •   For further information about the results and follow-up activities, contact Bob Maust, principal investigator for the A Matter of Degree Program

Last revision 07/08/05


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