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Campus is buzzing with conversation about the drinking culture here on campus. Whether you call it binge drinking, high-risk drinking, or getting wasted, there’s one thing we can all agree upon– we don’t want anyone to drink dangerously. One of the ways that the Student Assembly is partnering with the administration to make some positive changes is through the National Collegiate Health Improvement Project, an 18-month project with effects that will hopefully last much longer. Some refer to this project as the Dartmouth Collaborative, but most people call it “N-Chip” (think Frito-Lay). In this post and a few more in the future, I’ll share a little bit of the work that we’re doing and the successes that we’ve had.
The goal of this particular “Learning Collaborative on High Risk Drinking” is to improve student health related to dangerous drinking by using public health models of analysis. In other words, looking at high risk drinking from many different angles including policy, enforcement, culture change, etc.
The key point, though, is that we’re “putting evidence into practice” and trying lots of little “interventions,” then coming together as a collaborative and sharing what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do better. We use a PDSA model which stands for Plan, Do, Study, Act. So more or less, you plan a small intervention (such as adding a screening question to the routine of a few counselors at Gannett), go ahead and do it, collect data (this is key), and then act by implementing the “do” at a larger scale or make an appropriate policy change.
32 schools participate in the collaborative, representing a wide variety of different campuses. Some are small community colleges, huge state schools with big athletic programs, schools with greek systems that rival even ours in size, and even an all-women school. Each school includes a diverse team from their University (Cornell’s team includes VP of Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy, Dean of Students Kent Hubbell, Chief of Police Kathy Zoner, Director of Mental Health Initiatives Tim Marchell, Assistant Dean of Students for Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Travis Apgar, among other influential administrators on campus). At least part of our team meets once a week, and there are monthly conference calls with all of the other schools in the collaborative paired with an expert presentation. In a future post, I’ll tell you all about my recent trip to Austin, Texas for an all-collaborative meeting with Executive VP of the Student Assembly, Adam Gitlin, and our experiences there.
If you’re looking for more information about the collaborative, head to http://www.nchip.org/. And, as always, feel free to reach out to me as one of your At-Large Representatives.
Thanks for reading!
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