Widespread alcohol consumption by students, whether legal or not, is no secret. To combat this and other risky behaviors, Boise State is preparing to implement a mandatory online education program.
Some students see the potential benefit of having such a program in place.
“It would be helpful for people whose parents never taught them the consequences of what happens, like drinking too much,” said Eduardo Magana, a freshman graphic design major. “I mean, it’s not necessary, but it would be helpful.”
Freshman computer science major Brandon Barker agreed but added that some students may not be happy that it’s mandatory.
“I suppose it would be beneficial, but I see an uproar from the students if they were required to take it,” Barker said.
Dean of Students Christian Wuthrich said some students may not be inclined to take the program because they don’t consume alcohol, but added that the program will include information about “positive bystander behavior.”
Bystander intervention focuses on helping others who may be in distress. This includes a variety of situations, such as overdosing on alcohol and being involved in an unhealthy relationship.
Students concerned about the new procedure can voice their opinion to Wuthrich.
“We’re always open to listening to students’ concerns and ways that we can make these types of activities more beneficial to them. They are welcome to come and visit with me if they have some concerns,” Wuthrich said.
Wuthrich added that the measures are being pursued at the urging of the State Board of Education (SBOE), so there may not be much recourse available.
SBOE decided to implement this program after some state institutions had an increase of students participating in risky behaviors and believed it would help keep them safer.
Wuthrich explained the reason why this will be done online is so topics that are more interactive for students can be discussed in person at orientation. Students may be tempted to not take the program and Wuthrich said the administration is still trying to work out the bugs to make sure this isn’t the case.
“We’re hoping that most students are going to do it because they are interested in their health. We haven’t gotten to the point in our discussions about any of the ‘What ifs?’” Wuthrich said.
The cost will be incorporated into student fees. This program would be required for all incoming students.
Information about the program and where students can take it would be distributed prior to the start of the semester.