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Bottoms up – Streak Responsibly campaign raises alcohol awareness at JCU

April 14th, 2011

As an effort to provide accurate information to students about alcohol consumption on the John Carroll campus and enforce safe drinking habits, Megan Dzurec, coordinator of health education and promotion, created the Streak Responsibly campaign.

“The purpose of Streak Responsibly is to provide factual information about the alcohol use of John Carroll Students,” said Dzurec. “The perception of alcohol consumption by students is typically inaccurate, and we hope to dispel myths about drinking, and also reiterate the fact that almost one-quarter of our students typically do not drink.”

The campaign, which is in partnership with Recovery Resources (a non-profit agency in Cleveland with mental illnesses and addictions) kicked off in March and has held various events on campus.

One such event, Beer and Burritos, took place in the residence halls. Chipotle was provided for students who attended, and there was a discussion about alcohol use at John Carroll and about how the way it is advertised in the media can establish early drinking behaviors.

This event brought in as many as 59 students in Sutowski Hall. Dzurec estimated that about 450 students have attended Beer and Burrito events in their respective residence halls.

Streak Responsibly also hosted Iron Chef Mocktails in March, which involved students concocting alcohol-free mixed drinks with a variety of ingredients. This event, which took place in the dining hall, included a competition among 14 students who formed teams and competed in front of a panel of judges for the best drink.

Streak Responsibly recently presented to members of the Greek community, and the events are available to anyone or any group that is interested. Dzurec said that any late night events that are alcohol free also qualify as a Streak Responsibly event.

The main initiative driving the cause is the social marketing aspect of Streak Responsibly, and advertising its message. Posters around campus declare, “The majority of JCU students who drink consumed one to four drinks the last time they partied.” Another states, “The last time they partied, one to four John Carroll students didn’t drink. And they had a good time.”

These statistics are gathered from the National College Health Assessment in Spring 2010, and Dzurec is determined to get the word out. “We know that the majority of John Carroll students are either not drinking at all, or they’re drinking really responsibly,” said Dzurec.

“There’s a myth out there that John Carroll is the number one or number two binge drinking Jesuit school, and if that was ever true, it’s from old statistics,” said Dzurec. “Based on the data that we have, that isn’t true. Once students hear that rumor, it tends to perpetuate itself, and people don’t realize it’s from old data.”

Dzurec hopes the campaign will infuse the campus community with positive messages about alcohol use. “We are committed to maintaining a safe campus community and preventing injuries amongst our students,” she said.