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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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AlcoholEdu offers new program

Students still have a chance to take part in a national online program designed to educate and equip students to make safe and healthy decisions with alcohol.

The program – called AlcoholEdu – is directed specifically at first year, Greek and varsity athlete students.

It is a non-opinionated prevention program, which takes about two-and-a-half hours to complete.

There have been 450 universities nationally who have participated in AlcholEdu, which is the result of a $300,000 U.S. Department of Education grant, spearheaded by Terry Rentner, chair of BGSU’s journalism department and Barb Hoffman, health promotion coordinator for the Wellness Connection.

For Rentner, this has been the focus of her research since 1995.

She feels prevention is key to avoiding problems associated with high-risk drinking, and hopes to change students misperceptions about drinking on campus.

“It is an imaginary norm that everybody drinks, everybody doesn’t drink, and everybody does not participate in high-risk drinking,” Rentner said.

The program is unique in that it’s tailored to the student’s specific responses. Participants receive feedback according to how they completed the poll.

It teaches students how to make conscious decisions and avoid problems that may occur when consuming alcohol, which Rentner sees as a problem on campuses locally and nationally.

“The problem of high-risk students is among those groups not only at BGSU but nationally,” Rentner said. “[We hope to] empower students to make these healthy choices, it gets them to look at the effects it has on the body and mind.”

Rentner would like to see a 70 percent turnout this year among University students who were contacted by e-mail to participate in the poll. She has seen a 2.5 percent drop every two years in high-risk drinking.

So far, the University’s efforts to educate students on high-risk drinking has been applauded around the nation.

“Our program was named one of the top model programs back in 1999. It became a model for every other university,” Rentner said.

According to Hoffman, peer educators will be doing more programming in regards to alcohol.

They also have to take the AlcoholEdu program, and will have more interaction with students in the future.

She feels it is more feasible to convince one person in a group not to drink and drive people home, rather than to incorporate a shuttle service to take students home from the bars every night.

“BGSU was chosen for the grant because of our background and our recognition so far as one of the leading campuses in the U.S. as far as an exemplary-type program already in regards to alcohol prevention,” Hoffman said.

The grant will allow the poll to be taken again next fall, but it will be evaluated after that to decide whether it should be incorporated into a yearly event.

“I think it’s important that the students understand that it’s all confidential,” Hoffman said. “We want them to respond honestly and we want that they understand whatever they report in this coursework, we are not going to find out their individual answers.”

While the people collecting the data do not know specifically know how students answered each question, the data as a whole will be evaluated and determined for its statistical value.

And though the program isn’t mandatory for students this year, Rentner hopes the University will make it a requirement for all incoming students, starting next year.

“We want to see students succeed and we know that alcohol plays a roll in derailing that success,” Rentner said. “There is a responsibility as a BGSU student to participate in this course, it benefits them and benefits the BGSU community as a whole.”

The deadline for students to take the course is Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Students interested in participating can contact Rentner at (419) 372-2079, or [email protected].






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