Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, we have gotten a lot of questions about our campaign. So, we decided to compile some of them and provide our answers. If you have a question that isn't listed here, or if you aren't satisfied with our answers, then let us know! We would love to hear any feedback that you might have.

Questions:

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I have been hearing and seeing the 0 – 4 drinking facts since I came to campus – enough already!! Why do you have to keep repeating this?
For one, the campus population is always changing! We want to make sure we reach every new class that comes in, and we also want to keep students aware of the healthy campus norms throughout their time spent at MSU. Why do you think you see the same commercials over and over again? Repetition helps you to better remember messages. Also, if you have paid close attention, you would have noticed that the percentages are always changing. We want to provide you with up-to-date and accurate statistics as often as we can.

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The 0 – 4 drinks seems way low when I consider how my friends and I drink – who exactly do you get your facts from?
We get our statistics from a sample of university students who we survey approximately every semester. This sample is chosen at random by a university office and the list of students is then given to us. It contains students of both sexes from all grade levels that have a wide variety of drinking behaviors, from people who don't drink at all to people who drink excessively. The random sample ensures that all kinds of students are represented in the results.

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Why don’t you tell us what alcohol will do to us, instead of what we do with alcohol?
We chose the social norms approach because of its emphasis on the positive. We wanted to highlight the fact that not all MSU students are partying hard and burning couches, and let you know that most of you are responsible, safe drinkers. Our interest is not in trying to scare you away from alcohol, because other research has shown that that approach has failed many times, and because you probably know what alcohol can do to you, anyways.

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When you use the words most or majority what do you mean?
The words "most" and "majority" mean the same thing: over 50%.

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What do you mean by moderate drinking?
When we say "Most MSU students drink moderately," we mean that they have 0-4 drinks in a single instance of partying.

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Where do you put the posters – I don’t think I’ve ever seen one!
It's hard to believe that you haven't seen one of our ads, because they're put in so many places! We put them in the State News, in various buildings around campus (especially in dorms), on table tents, and we also share statistics with incoming freshmen at orientation programs. Keep an eye out and you will be sure to see one soon!

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So, is this campaign working?
Yes! Our campaign has been extremely effective on many levels. Over a three year period, there was a 19% decrease in alcohol consumption and a 26% decrease in the amount of people that said they had 6 or more drinks the last time they partied. Those numbers are really substantial- there is no way they could be a fluke! There have also been reductions in harm from alcohol and increases in the use of protective behaviors. For more information, check out the page about the evaluation of our campaign.

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It seems like most people lie on surveys – how do you know students didn’t lie on these surveys?
The surveys that students fill out are completely confidential, and every person that completes one knows that their responses cannot be linked to their names. So, there is no reason for people to lie when giving their responses. And, if there are a few people who give false answers, the sample is large enough that it will not mess up the results.

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What is a drink – do the people taking this survey know what a drink is?
One drink is defined as a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine, or a shot of liquor.  This is written on the surveys, so students are fully aware of what they are answering questions about.

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What social norms topic would you most like to learn more about?

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