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Web site launched for anti-drinking campaign

by Karen A. Grava - March 31, 2008

Remember Last Night, a campaign dedicated to reducing college students’ episodic heavy drinking behavior, began its spring push March 25, with the launch of its campaign web site.

The campaign, funded with a two-year, $273,923 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, seeks to change drinking behaviors of UConn students.

It devotes special attention to freshmen and Greek students, two groups at high risk for engaging in episodic heavy drinking.

“The web site’s contest activities invite students to contribute their own ideas to a campaign that aims to create a healthy social norm and safe campus environment for their college experience at UConn,” says Carolyn Lin, professor of communication sciences, the campaign project director.

The campaign theme – Remember Last Night – is designed to prompt the students to think about what happened to them at the last social event they attended, Lin says.

“We are asking students to reflect on and learn from their past behavior. Did they come home safe and sound? Did they have regrets or memories?”

The web site will include a number of campaign slogans, posters, and videos, in addition to resources on safe drinking, student support services on and off-campus, and other information, such as how to judge the alcohol content in a drink, assess one’s blood alcohol level, measure one’s alcohol tolerance, and detect the signs of alcohol poisoning.

The goal is to promote life-saving knowledge and skills to the students.

The campaign is also using campus media outlets and student advocates to disseminate its message at many student events prior to and during Spring Weekend.

The social marketing strategy is one of the three prevention strategies adopted by the research project.

The project also involves the implementation of a prevention program used with freshmen and Greek members, and an environmental strategy via a campus/community partnership.

Lin, head of the communication program in the Department of Communication Sciences, is the principal investigator of the larger research project associated with the campaign – Reducing College Student High-Risk Drinking Behavior via a Comprehensive Prevention Program, Norms Campaign, and Community Partnership Strategy.

The program involves only UConn’s Storrs campus, but Lin notes that UConn students are no different from students around the nation. Results of the program may lead to expansion of the program to other UConn campuses and colleges around the country, she says.

The campaign web site, rememberlastnight.uconn.edu, will host a campus-wide contest inviting students to submit campaign slogan ideas, poster designs, and YouTube-style videos that challenge the practice of episodic heavy drinking.

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