Alcohol Impact Accreditation programme
We recognise that not all students drink alcohol, and by offering a wide range of opportunities, events and activities that aren’t focussed around alcohol, we ensure that all students can get involved with the social side of university life ...
A successful partnership has been established between Keele University and KeeleSU to implement and evaluate an institutional approach to managing student alcohol consumption.
The aim is to reduce harmful alcohol consumption on campus, as well as recording best practice for other universities to follow suit.
The University and KeeleSU are now a member of the National Union of Students (NUS) managed Alcohol Impact project, a programme designed to change behaviours by creating a social norm of responsible alcohol consumption at a key moment of change in students’ lives.
The programme offers a mix of innovative, institution-wide behaviour change approaches and interventions encompassing policy, procedure, campaigns, retailing and accommodation. The programme encourages strong links with local stakeholders, extending the potential for impact and legacy. These approaches form the basis of a framework for action, with achievements in these areas resulting in accreditation.
The aim is to achieve the accreditation in 2017, allowing two years to create and implement Keele’s bespoke behaviour change model.
Through the Alcohol Impact programme we aim to:
• demonstrate positive outcomes for its students including improved welfare and wellbeing, reduction in alcohol related crime and a reduction in irresponsible alcohol consumption such as pre-drinking and binge-drinking.
• create alcohol free spaces where fun and engaging activities can take place, where students don’t feel pressurised to have a drink
• establish what is myth and what is fact in alcohol discourse; highlight UK binge drinking guidelines, units calculator etc.
• develop a relationship with organisations external to the university in order to ensure student safety even when off campus, i.e. police, A&E, taxi, council
• raise awareness among our Student body, in order that they have a greater awareness of the campaigns and where to go if they need support
• review and improve policy and operations at the University that encourages sensible alcohol consumption and zero tolerance to sexual harassment and discrimination.
The UK Government considers high risk drinking as a social and health priority (HM Government, 2012). Young adults are at particular risk, and higher education students are at further risk because students have increased consumption compared with similarly aged adults (Gill, 2002; White, 2006). The harms of high risk drinking for students include death, injury, sexual assault and negative academic performance (WHO, 2011).
Ian Munton, Head of Student Support and Development Services at Keele, said: "The University and KeeleSU do not condone the misuse of alcohol, however, we recognise that alcohol can be a part of student life and so we do not wish to discourage responsible drinking. Primarily, we are committed to the wellbeing, health and safety of our students and thus are concerned about the effects harmful alcohol consumption may have upon our students. KeeleSU is dedicated to providing students and their guests with entertainment and events that will positively contribute to the student experience, whilst at the same time remaining a responsible retailer through various age verification policies, combating drunkenness and refusal of service policy. This is already reflected by the SU achieving the NUS Best Bar None Scheme Gold award.
"We recognise that not all students drink alcohol, and by offering a wide range of opportunities, events and activities that aren’t focussed around alcohol, we ensure that all students can get involved with the social side of university life in a safe and accessible environment."