Students Offered a Refresher Course in Alcohol Education

Ramapo is now offering an online refresher of the AlcoholEdu course called the College Success Guide.

The refresher course is optional and confidential, and those who participate have the chance to win a $100 gift card to the Ramapo College Bookstore.

The College Success Guide is being offered to all students, including transfers and students who started their college career at Ramapo before the AlcoholEdu course was enacted.

The AlcoholEdu course, which is completed by incoming freshmen before the start of a new semester, is a two-part course and includes a test that students must receive at least an 85 on in order to pass.

The College Success Guide is shorter and focuses solely on the important concepts introduced in the AlcoholEdu course.

"The course reviews the most important concepts students were introduced to through AlcoholEdu for college, including standard measure of drink, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), protective behavior strategies for drinkers and non-drinkers, and bystander and caretaking behavior," said Judy Green, director of the Center for Health and Counseling Services, who also serves as the chair of the President's Alcohol and other Drug Advisory Committee. 

The guide is designed for sophomore, junior and senior students, including some key subgroups for students who are transfers, Greeks or athletes.

"The purpose of the College Success Guide is to provide upper-class students with important education about alcohol and strategies for making responsible decisions," said Green.

The College Success Guide also offers some new tips that the AlcoholEdu course did not.

"The course also offers new information such as important advice from recent college graduates related to academics, social life and preparing for the 'real world,' safe party hosting tips, the importance of getting involved in campus and community life and tips for smarter social networking," said Green.

"Alcohol consumption is a serious thing when it comes to underage drinking on campus, and I think it is something that is being taken advantage of all the time," said junior Brad Rosenberg.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 1,825 students aging from the ages 18-24 die each year due to alcohol related injuries and about 25 percent of college students do poorly in school and receive academic consequences due to consuming alcohol on a daily, if not, weekly basis.

"Since I'm a transfer, it gives me the opportunity to take part in something that I was never able to participate in when I started classes at Ramapo," said Rosenberg. "I think they are going to get a lot of attention from students if they are going to be giving out gift cards."

Although some students think that handing out gift cards for completing the survey will attract a lot of students, some believe it will attract them for all the wrong reasons.

"I think allowing students who didn't have the chance to take this course is a great thing, because it would be senseless to deny a student the right to learn about alcohol consumption within a college environment," said Anthony Parisi, a senior. "However, I feel that people are going to be doing the survey just for the gift card and not for the knowledge that the course is meant to provide for the student."