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Social Norms Campaign

The Social Norms Campaign at Kutztown University in 2010 was designed to show students the truth about student drinking. Many Kutztown students believe that 90% of their peers drink on weekends.  However, the truth is that less than 50% of Kutztown students engage in this behavior. The Social Norms Campaign was created to show students the true norm, which is moderate or non-use of alcohol. The members of the Kutztown community should know that most Kutztown University students make good and healthy choices.

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.

To discover the statistics on drinking at Kutztown University, we used the Core Survey. 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).

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

  • 68% of KU Freshman students are non-drinkers
  • 69% of KU Freshman 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 Kutztown students compare to other PASSHE 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%