Facing possible registration blocks, UCSB’s newest crop of freshmen and transfer students has until Nov. 1 to complete an alcohol and health quiz online.
The university’s newest students are now required to take the alcohol education test at mystudentbody.com, which includes quiz questions regarding the effects and possible consequences of alcohol abuse. The site also provides articles about the connection between alcohol and depression, symptoms of abuse and dependence and the effects of alcohol on the body. Students must score 80 percent or higher to pass the quiz.
Office of Student Life Associate Dean Deborah Fleming said the decision to implement the program was driven by a desire to tackle the issues of alcohol usage before problems arise.
“There has not really been a place for basic education,” Fleming said. “There has been research that shows that students who use this program drink less and drink more safely when they do.”
According to the mystudentbody.com Web site, the program was developed with support from the National Institutes of Health and “incorporates scientific principals shown to be associated with behavioral change including motivational enhancement, individual feedback and social norms education.”
However, first-year biology major Diane Clow said she viewed the requirement as a waste of her time.
“Honestly, I thought it was annoying,” Clow said. “We learned all the same stuff in high school in health class and the test was about a whole bunch of random facts that it seems like you would never use again.”
The school’s subscription to the website is for five years at $5,500 per year, with the funding provided by the UCSB Division of Student Affairs. The university expects approximately 6,000 new students to take the exam annually.
Although students have until Nov. 1 to complete the exam, the university is also providing an incentive for students to complete the test by Oct. 15. Students who finish the exam early can participate in a prize drawing, Fleming said.
“This new requirement is a complement to the prevention efforts that are already in place at UCSB,” Fleming said. “Many of us involved in prevention work believe that at UCSB, with the party reputation and widespread use of alcohol among our students, we need to be sure that our newest and most vulnerable students have a basic understanding of risks and consequences, such as how to moderate drinking and how to prevent alcohol poisoning.”
Additionally, UCSB has the alcohol information program College Alcohol Skills Education, commonly known as C.A.S.E., as well as alcohol and drug counseling available from Counseling and Career Services. C.A.S.E., which costs a $75 registration fee, provides drug and alcohol education to students who are referred to the program after being caught for violating liquor laws in campus residences.