For many, many moons, the media has portrayed the party scenes at college to be reckless, promiscuous, and involving many kegs and body shots with someone eventually passing out in the front yard; however, this has never quite been the case at Colorado College
Although drinking and party cultures have been somewhat of a norm to this small, liberal arts school, staff and faculty have been working hard to educate students and help them make healthy choices.
Back in 1982, The Catalyst reported that a majority of people participating in excessive drinking do so to ‘take the edge off’ due to the rigor of the Block Plan. They claimed that a lot of students use alcohol strictly to alter their consciousness and that is when problems begin to rise.
“I think that our approach, one which I agree with, is that we really do our best to provide our students with the resources to guide and educate them,” said Cesar Cervantes, Assistant Dean of Students. “From that point on, we allow students to make the best decisions that they can; however, we’re always there if things don’t go so well.”
A huge improvement to the drug and alcohol safety education at Colorado College has been the newly implemented program called Campus Clarity. This program was developed by a group of students at the University of San Francisco made with student habits in mind.
“Before students arrive, they have to complete a mandatory online course training them on alcohol and other drugs,” said Cervantes. “This year, we implemented a new training program called Campus Clarity, which we’re really excited about. Previously, we were using Alcohol Edu, and it wasn’t that user-friendly and a lot of students likened it to taking a driver’s education course.”
The main goal through all of this appears to be to aid more than to avoid. Without a doubt, administration is aware that drinking and drug use occur at Colorado College, just like at any college, and they tailor their programs around that fact.
As much as Cervantes and his fellow faculty would like for students to abide by the law, this expectation is far from met.
“You really have a support person in these situations and say, ‘hey I’m here to guide you through the process,’’ said Cervantes. “You might know all of the policies but certainly not know all of the procedures, and so I think that‘s one important role that I play in helping the alcohol conduct issues here on campus.”
The campus offers a number of support groups for students who would like help with substance abuse including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, held at Shove Chapel, as well as an Alcohol and Other Drugs Group in the Boettcher Counseling Center.
“We want students to recognize that even if alcohol is available, it’s not about engaging in it in an irresponsible way, drinking to get drunk, or binge drinking and other behaviors that are hazardous,” said Cervantes. “There are safe ways to go about these things, and that’s what we’re here for.”