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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

RhodeMap to Safety: Media campaign to change college student perceptions of the campus-community alcohol environment

William DeJong, PhD1, Mark Wood, PhD2, Dorie Lawson, ScM2, Kristen J. Quinlan2, Anne M. Fairlie2, Adam J. Guindon2, and Andrea Resendes2. (1) Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, Talbot Building T2W, Boston, MA 02118, 617-414-1393, wdejong@bu.edu, (2) Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, 10 Chafee Road, Suite 8, Kingston, RI 02881

Several college administrators are now addressing alcohol-related student misconduct off-campus. In September, 2005, the University of Rhode Island (URI) launched RhodeMap to Safety (RMS), a media-centered campaign to reduce alcohol-related problems. URI's 2004 telephone survey revealed that 83% of students supported increased enforcement of drinking and driving laws. Positioned as a response to student concerns, RMS (1) explained Rhode Island's .08% BAC per se law and “zero tolerance” (.02% BAC) law for underage drivers; (2) reminded students about URI's “three-strikes” and parental notification policies; (3) publicized new enforcement grants from URI to the Narragansett police department for stricter DUI enforcement; and (4) advertised a new Cooperating Tavern Program to promote ID checks and responsible beverage service. A 2005 telephone survey suggests that RMS is changing URI students' perceptions of the alcohol policy environment. In 2004, 43% said it was “not at all likely” or “not very likely” they would get caught for DUI; in 2005, 36% said this. Similarly, 30% in 2004 said it was “not at all likely” or “not very likely” that a student under 21 would be served alcohol at a local bar; in 2005, 38 percent said this. While 49% in 2004 said it was “not at all likely” or “not very likely” that an underage student would be able to purchase alcohol at a local liquor store, in 2005 this figure rose to 59%. RhodeMap to Safety demonstrates the value of framing campus-community prevention efforts as a response to student concerns.

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