CSU Sacramento -- October 24, 2003
Targets Student Drinking Myths
California State University, Sacramento students are heading back to high school to talk
about the realities of college drinking. The message will be a sober one.
In an innovative program partnering CSUS with the San Juan Unified School District, students
from the University will take aim at the myth of the college drinker and give health and
driver's education students at Rio Americano High School a real look at what college life is
Starting with their first visit on Friday, Oct. 10, six student peer educators from CSUS will
go into Rio Americano High School classrooms three times this semester to present a realistic
picture of college life and student drinking habits.
"The average CSUS student has 2.6 drinks a week," Cyndra Krogen, CSUS health
educator, said. That fact runs counter to the image of hard-drinking college students offered
up in movies, television shows and beer ads. "People think student drinking is way higher than
that, but it's not."
That false image, however, can lead to binge drinking among incoming freshmen who want to fit
in to the college crowd, Krogen said.
"I call it 'peer influence.'" she said. "Student drinking can be influenced by
the people they socialize with."
Despite the image conjured up by the movies like Animal House and Higher Learning-or beer ads
filled with picture-perfect 20-somethings-most of college students do not spend their days
"The typical Sac State student works part time and carries 15 units-there's not a lot of
time for them to go out and get drunk," Jill Parish, program organizer, said. "And,
if they hear these messages from a college student, it will have more effect."
"It's all about making it real," she said. "Most college students make healthy
choices when it comes to consuming alcohol. What we're trying to do is counter the unhealthy
perceptions with the real facts."
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the Business, Transportation, and Housing
Agency, Office of Traffic Safety. Plans call for the program to expand to other schools next
For more information about the program, contact Parish at (916) 278-6595. Media assistance is
available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.