University of Pittsburgh
January 16, 2001

SECOND PHASE OF "DRINK LESS" CAMPAIGN PUSHES PITT STUDENTS TO FOLLOW THE NORMS OF THEIR SCHOOL

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 17 -- The University of Pittsburgh's campus-wide campaign urging students to "drink less" has moved into its second phase. While last year's campaign urged students to "drink less," this year's will focus more on facts taken from surveys of Pitt students, encouraging them to "follow the norms" of the school.

The perceived behavior students associate with drunkenness includes drunk driving, assault, and vandalism. Shirley Haberman, health education administrator for the University, said that "students think binge drinking is the norm, but the majority of students don't drink that way and are not behaving that way."

With poster slogans such as "Most Pitt students drink 4 or fewer drinks" posted around campus and in the Pitt News, the student newspaper, Haberman is hopeful that the campaign will readjust Pitt students' perceptions and behaviors.

In addition to the campaign posters and advertisements, Pitt is including the information about the campaign into its education programs. The Freshman Studies class, a course offered to incoming freshmen which serves as an orientation and support program, is a major forum for discussing binge drinking.

Research done at other schools that have implemented the same campus-specific campaign has shown that binge drinking has reduced on their campuses since the campaign began. In just three years, the University of Arizona has seen a 28 percent decrease of binge drinking.

The hopeful outcome of the campaign is that students will want to follow the "drink less" norm decreasing alcohol abuse across campus.

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