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UW-Eau Claire First-Year Students, Student-Athletes to Complete New Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

RELEASED: July 30, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — All first-year students and student-athletes enrolled for the fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will have one course completed before they enter the university's classrooms in September.

myStudentBody logoBeginning this summer, the two student groups are being asked to complete myStudentBody Alcohol, an online alcohol abuse prevention program offered through UW-Eau Claire's Center for Alcohol Studies and Education. A grant for CASE programming from the U.S. Department of Education provided funding for UW-Eau Claire's purchase of myStudentBody Alcohol from the Newton, Mass.-based company Inflexxion Inc.

"Alcohol abuse is the leading health problem our students face, and we have a number of interventions in place to work with students who are experiencing its negative effects," said Jennifer Lee, CASE director. "Offering students the myStudentBody course is an effort to be proactive in educating them about the potential effects of high-risk behaviors."

First-year students were introduced to the course during summer orientation. They have been asked to complete the approximately 1-hour course before arriving on campus for the fall semester. Students who have not yet completed the course are receiving e-mail reminders to do so, and a prize drawing from among the names of students who complete the course is being offered as an incentive to encourage participation.

"Research shows that myStudentBody Alcohol is an effective tool in decreasing alcohol consumption levels and increasing knowledge about alcohol abuse among college students," said Jodi Thesing-Ritter, UW-Eau Claire associate dean of student development.

University staff members are writing grants to fund the purchase of myStudentBody in future years so the course's effectiveness can be measured over time, Thesing-Ritter said.

The online course is a helpful addition to UW-Eau Claire's CASE programming, said Kimberly Barrett, associate vice chancellor of student development and diversity.

"We have many interventions that we implement after a student has experienced the negative effects of abusing alcohol," Barrett said. "What makes our use of myStudentBody unique and especially effective is that it serves as a proactive step to help students make better choices up front related to alcohol use."

-30-

JP

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