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Fanshawe promotes drinking smart education on campus

Jessica Thompson | Interrobang | Culture | September 12th, 2016

With the help of an anonymous online survey called Check Your Drinking, Fanshawe is helping students understand not only their drinking habits, but also the impact their drinking has on them.

“After students complete the survey it gives the results based on their answers,” said Jennifer Gillespie, the campus life facilitator. “It will show how they compare to others in their age category, how many days in a year they drink, how much money they spent on alcohol compared to how many movie tickets or vacations they could have purchased.”

The survey also shows how many calories were consumed compared to how many slices of pizza they could have had instead.

“Our goal is to help students understand the implications of their choices and develop safe and responsible drinking choices,” Gillespie said.

According to the 708 students who took the survey last year, there is a misconception around binge drinking in college. The students surveyed believed other students were drinking a lot more than they actually were.

For the question of the student body using alcohol 10 to 29 days of the month, students believed 37.3 per cent of males and 41.4 per cent of females were, when in actuality only 19.2 per cent of males and 13.3 per cent of females were consuming that much.

“We encourage students to use strategies on how to stay safe and drink responsibly, which many students are already incorporating into their own strategies,” Gillespie said.

Some tips are eating before and during the alcohol consumption, letting friends know when you have had enough, staying with the same group of friends while drinking and using a designated driver.

“We encourage students to follow Canada’s low risk drinking guidelines which is 10 standard drinks a week for women, with no more than two drinks a day, most days, and 15 standard drinks a week for men, with no more than three drinks a day, most days,” Gillespie said.

Fanshawe will be putting on countless interactive events throughout the year to give students the opportunity to learn about safe and responsible drinking habits.

For example, on Sept. 14 there will be a Sexual Health Fair in Forwell hall where students can come and check their drinking, learn what a standard size drink is and try some activities with beer goggles.

On Nov. 8 there will be the second annual Sex, Drugs and Rocky Road in the Out Back Shack. At this event, students can participate in activities and have some free rocky road ice cream.

“We want students to get involved, have fun and make new friends,” Gillespie said. “Our hope is that we can help educate students to make safe choices”
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