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Social Norms Campaign

What is a Social Norm?
Social norms are people's beliefs about the behavior that is expected of them in a particular social context. People's perceptions of social norms are often a good predictor of what they will say and do.

What's the Connection to Drinking?
Surveys of college students reveal that most students greatly overestimate the amount of high-risk drinking that occurs on their campus and on college campuses in general. Based on this misperception, students may conclude that high-risk drinking is the social norm, which in turn may lead them to increased alcohol consumption. In other words, the misperception may cause students to believe they are both justified and pressured to consume large amounts of alcohol in order to be like other students.

A Great Way to Explain Social Norms (A Suggestion)
Let's think this through... 1. "On an average weekend night, how many parties are going on in town?" (let's say 5 hypothetically) If there are 5 parties that can fit a maximum of probably 100 students, we have 500 students at parties (but not necessarily drunk). 2. If we include the bars, (hypothetically 5) with 150 attendees approx., that's another 750. That gives us a total of about 1,250 KU students (not all necessarily drinking more than 3 drinks, but in drinking situations). There are approx. 10,000 students at KU, so 1250 students is only 12.5% of our population. 3. Also, students tend to notice other people that stand out (an intoxicated person) as opposed to the average partygoer. The intoxicated people stick out in their memory, leading people to believe that more people drink excessively.

What is the Core Survey and How is it Administered?
The Core Survey is an instrument to assess the level and impact of alcohol and other drug use on campus and is not used to diagnose alcohol dependency in individuals. Developed in 1989 to assess the nature, scope, and consequences of alcohol and other drug use on college campuses, it is one of the most rigorously developed survey instruments for post-secondary populations. Kutztown used methods to ensure a random and representative sample of our respective student bodies. These methods included randomly selecting the participant pool and having students complete the survey by visiting a website (to ensure anonymity).

What are the Results from KU?
Here are some of the stats we received from the PASSHE Core Survey conducted in Spring 2010 pertaining to KU:

~ 68% of KU Freshmen students are non-drinkers
~ 69% of KU Freshmen students DO NOT drink and drive
~ 95% of KU students have never missed a class due to drinking or drug use in the last year.

How do KU student compare to other college students?

Experience KU Reference Group
(7,131 PASSHE students)
Been in trouble with police, resident hall, or college authorities 6.3% 13.7%
Driven a car while under the influence 9% 27%
Been hurt or injured 15.7% 16.2%
Performed poorly on a test or important project 22.6% 22.1%
Tried unsuccessfully to stop using 4.7% 5.2%