The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Eau Claire hosts surveys

UW-Eau Claire will be a pilot site for a series of surveys designed to assess the drinking culture on university campuses across the nation. The “positive response” surveys, designed by the Minnesota Institute for Public Health, will be distributed to Eau Claire students, faculty, area liquor outlets and community members in about two weeks.

Along with the surveys, MIPH will also assess current university policies regarding alcohol use both on and off campus, examining the university’s data on violations related to crimes and alcohol policy violations.

Sophomore Tina Hadlich said she thinks there is definitely a “drinking culture” on the Eau Claire campus, but it reflects college norms.

“I think it’s the same as any other college campus,” she said. Hadlich knows some of the alcohol policies on campus, but only the ones regarding getting caught violating policies, she said.

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Jennifer Lee, director of the Center for Alcohol Studies and Education, said the university and community have been working closely with MIPH to prepare the surveys.

“We’re building (the surveys) from scratch,” she said. “But I think we’re going to get the information we’re looking for.”

Lee is excited to help with the surveys because they will essentially provide CASE with free consulting work, she said.

“It’ll be an indicator of exactly how well we’re doing,” she said, adding that although CASE does conduct research, it will be interesting to have an outsider’s perspective and feedback.

“We don’t have an intimate view of what other schools are doing (regarding alcohol policies),” she said.

Hadlich, however, doesn’t think any feedback from the surveys will be very effective in curbing underage drinking because she feels the current alcohol polices don’t effectively stop people from breaking the rules, she said. If the university does change any policies, Hadlich thinks the changes will have to be pretty drastic to be effective.

“People will find a way to drink,” she said. “I don’t think on-campus (policies) really phase people.”

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Eau Claire hosts surveys