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CCAM announces new motivational initiative

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This past fall term, all students on Carleton’s campus were invited to participate in an anonymous drug and alcohol survey to inform the grant Carleton received from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The survey was the first step in implementing the grant effectively on campus.

The grant is a full year-round project with plans that stretch into the fall term of 2016. This past fall, the Carleton Coalition on Alcohol and Marijuana (CCAM) started the year-long project by identifying “5-7 key variables from our data that are significant in contributing to alcohol and marijuana use on our campus,” according to Patrick Gordon, the Project Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention.

The information gathered in the fall is being looked at this term in order to develop 2 evidence-based strategies that are “proven to reduce alcohol or marijuana use and/ or impact the other target risk factors being addressed,” Gordon said.

“Our objective [this winter] is to find proven ways to achieve our goals regarding the improvement of the perception of alcohol and drug use and Carleton’s implementation of drug and alcohol policies,” said Max Lane ’19, a member of CCAM.

The CCAM cannot yet share their exact plans for enacting these evidence-based strategies because they have not been finalized but according to Gordon, they are announcing a new program called Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS).

“BASICS is essentially brief motivational interviewing sessions. The sessions are specifically geared to be reflective and non-judgmental, encouraging student to analyze how alcohol interacts with different parts of their life,” said Gordon. However, it is still undecided how this will work exactly on Carleton’s campus.

In the spring, Carleton will receive input on their selected strategies and once their categories are approved, CCAM can begin to implement them. Additionally, according to Gordon, throughout the implementation process CCAM will “be doing ongoing evaluation to assess how they are working. If a strategy is proving to not be successful, we will likely adapt it and/or select new strategies to take its place.”

In general CCAM feels as though the grant has been positively implemented. “Working with the grant has gone well, and I believe that the grant can help Carleton improve as a community,” Lane said. The Carleton community seems excited to see the changes the will be implemented on campus next fall. “I think it will be really interesting to see the positive effects these changes have on the Carleton community,” said Hailey Mair ’19.

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