Alcohol-Wise: Teaching Students Responsible Drinking
As of this year, freshmen are required to take an online course about alcohol: Alcohol-Wise. The free class takes 60 minutes to complete and being that the course is self-guided, students are able to take it on their own time.
According to Anne Hoffmann, the Assistant Director of the Health and Wellness Programs at the Allen Center, the goals of the class are simply to increase knowledge on alcohol and to decrease negative consequences due to alcohol.
"We are not an anti-alcohol organization, but I think students will agree that no one wants to get hurt. Nobody wants to get sent home and nobody wants anything bad to happen so we are providing some reasonable education to help students avoid these consequences," Hoffmann said.
The course is new to campus this year simply because it has not been accessible in the past. According to Hoffmann, universal prevention through online education is pretty standard at other universities. The fact that we were missing it at our campus would suggest that it would be good for us to have a program.
Ryan Hietpas, a freshman at UWSP, found Alcohol-Wise to be an effective learning experience regarding new information on alcohol, but does not think taking the test will impact many students.
"I think that it was a good thing to get students aware of the effects that alcohol can have on their bodies, but most people have taken a health class in high school that covers the same material that was in this test," Hietpas said.
Kylee Hawkinson, another freshman at UWSP, said the class took longer than what many students had expected, considering a good portion of the class was review.
"I think it was way longer than it needed to be, but it would depend on how much education people had before. I think of lot of people have had that education by now," Hawkinson said.
Hoffmann understands that the class is review for many students, but explained that the class focuses on universal prevention and establishing a limit on drinking for all students.
"The same exact information is given to every single freshman regardless of previous education or time spent on alcohol awareness. We anticipate students that already know all this, but we also anticipate the students that have no experience with this at all," Hoffmann said.