Archive for Monday, August 17, 2009

New KU students under 22 will be required to take alcohol-education class

Freshmen, transfer students must complete online program

August 17, 2009, 9:22 a.m. Updated August 17, 2009, 4:19 p.m.


KU announces tougher alcohol policy

All incoming KU students under the age of 22 will have to participate in an alcohol awareness program. Enlarge video

New Kansas University students will need to pass one extra course this semester on top of their regular load of classes.

KU announced Monday that freshman and transfer students younger than 22 must take an online course about the effects of alcohol.

“It’s really about education, and it helps students learn about the impact of alcohol on their bodies and helps them understand how to make good decisions regarding alcohol,” said Marlesa Roney, KU’s vice provost for student success.

The new mandatory course is the latest piece of KU’s initiative to roll out changes to its alcohol policy in the last few months. Two alcohol-related deaths last semester helped expedite the changes.

The two-hour course will provide information about alcohol and its impact on the body and behavior. New students would have to complete the first part of the course between Aug. 31 and Sept. 24. The second part would have to be completed 30 days after the first part, but no later than Nov. 2.

Students who do not complete the course would not be eligible to enroll for the spring semester, but Roney said all students would pass the course because the computer program allows for students to retake parts of the course they failed.

Freshman Natasha Kothari, a recent Blue Valley Northwest High School graduate, said she doesn’t drink alcohol but the course might benefit other students who do.

“I’m hoping, maybe for some people who would drink, maybe it will be a wake-up call,” she said. “Then maybe the campus and the school will meet their objectives, but I don’t really know if it will be that informative.”

Other students said the educational initiative would warn about the dangers of alcohol.

“It’s definitely a big problem, and I think this class might help, actually,” said Sareen Patel, a Shawnee freshman.

KU is underwriting the cost of the course. The information provided by students in the interactive program would be treated as confidential. While KU would receive summary information, the university would never see individual students’ answers.

Dalton Hawkins, 18, of Shawnee, died April 24 from injuries to his head and chest after falling from the roof of the three-story Watkins Scholarship Hall after drinking alcohol. Jason Wren, 19, of Littleton, Colo., was found dead inside Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity after a night of heavy drinking.

After those deaths, KU has made other changes to its alcohol policies, including notifying parents regarding alcohol violations in student housing, and granting amnesty for those who seek medical help when a friend is having an alcohol-related emergency. KU says many students don’t seek help because they’re afraid of the punishments they could receive.

“What it is really is that opportunity to learn more about the impact of alcohol, to make better decisions and make very wise decisions,” Roney said.


iLikelawrence 8 years, 5 months ago

They used to do this thing about 5 years ago during orientation with a cop coming in and giving the spiel about drinking but even the cop took it as a 'I have to say this but I know you won't listen'. I think this class would be thought of the same.

N_Trenched 8 years, 5 months ago

This should work well. Telling college students not to do something ultimately gives them reason to participate in that very behavior. How did they respond to the urge to stop the chant at the football games?

"Rip his bleeping head off!"

Phil Minkin 8 years, 5 months ago

You can lead a student away from alcohol, but you can't stop him from drinking.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if Marion S. Lynn will be allowed to audit the course?

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 5 months ago

you wanna stop this stuff make them all go get jobs......
stop living off mom & dad's money.........

avaholic 8 years, 5 months ago

I for one am happy to see KU do this. I have had the oppurtunity to work at Oliver Hall for 4 years as an RA and Desk assistant. While working there, I had the duty of walking the floors and I do believe this will help. I have been there for tragedies and I am tired of no consequences for this behavior. Good for you KU!

Lacy Mohler 8 years, 5 months ago

My son was an RA for 2 years. He had a room to himself and used his extra closet to brew beer with some friends. They called it a chemistry experiment. I don't think he ever drank much of it---he just liked brewing it. Much of what they bottled ended up in our basement. My husband used it in his chili. Pretty good brew.

Joel Hood 8 years, 5 months ago

I can understand the sarcasm many of you have. Jeez, I went to KU when you could drink beer at 18. But, do you not recognize that KU is trying to reach out to the youngest members of the university community and at least give them some sound information about what to expect? The youngest kids are the ones most at risk and likely to overdue it. I know, they are over 18 and technically adults, but they are still the ones most likely to make bad decisions.

I don’t know if this mandatory online course will help, but I think it is a good step for the KU administration to recognize that they should provide some kind of resource to help mitigate the problem. So, if you’re going to mock KU for this effort, I hope you have a better idea of how to address the problem.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 5 months ago

Don't misinterpret my comments jayhawkerjoel, I am very supportive of this idea.

I just think that that the old Grey Goose geezer Marion could have/and could still benefit from such education.

After all, even he has to realize that his spelling skill goes kaput after 11:00 pm. (That's a precise technical German term)

I'm sure KU would waive it's tuition for him and let him audit a class, don't you think? Don't they have such a policy for "seniors?"

jayhawkhillgirl 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad KU is recognizing there's a problem with alcohol abuse, but I think at the same time learning to handle alcohol is a part of the college & life learning experience. Unfortunately I never would've learned if it wasn't for the hard way, and that was after hearing stories from cops during orientation and taking an online course after being caught in the dorm freshmen year with alcohol.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 5 months ago

Marion: you sound increasingly like your friend "Arky-Teck."

How is that Holocaust research of yours going on?

.....birds of a feather........

GardenMomma 8 years, 5 months ago

Even the class makes one person stop and think before s/he drinks it will be worth it.

chrysanthemum 8 years, 5 months ago

I wonder how many other colleges require this kind of "course." Do you get hours for it? I guess we'll see how many students take this seriously and if KU will announce the results to the community.

kugrad2009 8 years, 5 months ago

An online course is a terrible way to teach someone not to do something. Many jobs have all kinds of online training, diversity, sexual harassment, etc... When people get online for these courses they just click through it and take it over and over until they pass it...

I don't have a better solution for a course, but this one is sure not effective. No one will take this seriously, not even the people that created it. I doubt a lot of the people that put the course together just did it to save their hide the next time a student at the university has an alcohol related event.

volunteer 8 years, 5 months ago

With a new chancellor presumably taking the issue more seriously than the previous one, we should not expect KU to be listed on anyone's "party school" list.

notwhatyourthink 8 years, 5 months ago

Looks like they are a little late. Looking at lastnights booking recap There were 4 DUI's 2, 19 yearolds 1, 20 yearold and 1, 21yearold. All of them caught on Kentucky, Tennessee, and Illinois.

This is a waste of money which they claim they don't have. It starts with the parents when the children are todderlers. If they were never told no it's too late when they are 19.

gsxr600 8 years, 5 months ago

This is a joke. No one will care and actually listen to what a computer tells them. Students will try to skip through it as fast as possible so they can get onto other things that actually have meaning: food, video games, drinking, studying (yes some students actually make studying a priority), etc.

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