For release: May 7, 2010
For press information, contact Dr. Marian Levy, 901-678-4514
A team of Tiger coaches and student athletes will be the new face of an alcohol education
program at the University of Memphis that will use videos, social media, and print
ads to spread the message.
The U of M has received a $30,000, three-year grant from the National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) for a program to educate students about alcohol consumption.
The “True Blue Choices” campaign will be presented by the U of M’s Athletic Department
in partnership with the School of Public Health, Student Health Services, Student
Affairs, and Recruitment and Orientation Services. The goal of the program is to educate
students about responsible drinking by changing the way they view alcohol use.
In general, surveys show college students think other students consume more alcohol
than they actually do. As perceptions are corrected, levels of alcohol use are expected
to decrease. “This is a great opportunity for the Athletic Department, Student Health,
and Public Health to encourage vigorous lifestyles for the entire student population,”
said Gail Lee, CHAMPS/life skills coordinator in Athletics.
Athletes will promote messages that de-emphasize the role of alcohol on campus life
and lower students’ expectations about drinking. While the campaign is aimed at the
entire student body, special emphasis will be on incoming freshmen.
The program will kick off with a video featuring men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner,
to be shown to all freshmen at orientation. The Athletic Department will use a variety
of other channels to get the message out, including skits performed by student athletes
at Frosh Camp (a leadership program attended by 600 freshmen); campus-wide messages
throughout the academic year on posters, print ads and yard signs; and electronic
media messages (websites, Twitter and Facebook) from student athletes. Ads and promotions
will also be featured at Homecoming and other selected athletic events.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to expand our social norms media campaign with the
Athletic Department and their many talents,” said Jacque De Fouw, campus prevention
specialist with Student Health Services.
“We look forward to partnering with Athletics and Student Health to advance the practice
of social responsibility and healthy choices on campus,” added Dr. Marian Levy, associate
professor and director of the Master of Public Health program.
The School of Public Health will coordinate the evaluation and develop a survey that
can be completed with electronic clickers at Freshmen Orientation events. The Core
Alcohol and Drug Survey will be administered by Student Health Services and will compare
results with previous years’ findings.