I am a non-traditional student with two bachelors degrees, one of which I got over 15 years ago. I also have one master’s degree and am pursuing another one as of this fall. Because of my fall admissions, I have to take the AlcoholEdu training. In the second half of this training, there is a slide that says “Your first year of college is everything you imagined it would be. Actually, it’s better than you expected. You’ve met some cool people and started getting used to managing things on your own.”
As someone in their 40s who has been “managing things” on my own for 20+ years, this is insulting and a waste of my time. What is the point, exactly, of having grad students do this?
In an effort to help all of our student be aware of alcohol issues, we chose to have all new incoming students, including graduate students, complete the training.
Unfortunately, AlcoholEdu isn’t as responsive as it could be and is largely intended for a younger audience.
It’s also good to remember that alcohol abuse affects Alaskans in every age category. According to Recover Alaska
, nearly 60,000 Alaskans 18 or older abuse or depend on alcohol or drugs. Alaska leads the nation in death by alcohol poisoning and is tied for third in the country for binge drinking rates in a 2015 CDC study
. The CDC also reports that excessive alcohol consumption costs the state over $800 million annually — that’s $1,165 per state resident. It’s clear that alcohol abuse is one of the greatest problems our state faces.
AlcoholEdu is designed to give students the knowledge to assess their own drinking behavior as well as the behaviors of others. If one in 12 Alaskans has a problem with alcohol, it is likely that any UAF student — from the 18-year-old first-year student to the 40-year-old graduate student — knows someone who makes poor choices with alcohol. We hope that AlcoholEdu will give all students the awareness and knowledge to spot problematic drinking behaviors and empower them with the skills to take action to keep those around them safe.
— Ronnie Houchin, transition programs coordinator