4NoMore tackles Drinking

Stuart Hughes

University administration says that the new “4NoMore” initiative takes a realistic approach to high-risk alcohol use and substance abuse.

4NoMore is an eight-person student, faculty, and law enforcement panel. Their goal is to build a campaign to educate students on the risks of these behaviors and dispel myths that accompany them. One of the biggest myths, the group’s advisor Ellie Trautman says, is that the majority of students abuse alcohol, “Research shows that the overwhelming majority of SDSU students don’t abuse substances or alcohol. It’s the small, very visible minority that distort perception,” said Trautman.

The slogan “4NoMore” is an adaptation to the safe consumption rule of having one drink per hour and four total per night. The initiative accompanies existing programs like Safe Ride, which acts as a free designated driving service for students with no safe way home, and HEROH (Helping Everyone Reach Optimal Health) socials, which promote alcohol awareness.

Trautman, who is also Wellness Center’s HEROH advisor and Safe Ride Home manager, says the goal of 4NoMore is to give students the information they need to make responsible choices “It’s not a fear-mongering campaign or a finger-wagging approach—those don’t work,” Trautman said. ”We’re giving students the information they need, because responsibility means making an informed choice, then accepting the consequences.”

As the campus extends dorm and facility visitation hours, allowing students to be social later into the night, Trautman says SDSU is building a comprehensive alcohol and substance program that will help students avoid life-altering consequences such as a DUI conviction or an underage consumption ticket. Trautman also hopes to implement a mandatory alcohol and substance education class in the near future.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Wermedal says these types of programs deal with the reality that students are exposed to these behaviors, and will not always make the right or safe choice.

“We want as many students to graduate as we can,” said Wermedal. “A lot of students get into trouble with alcohol and drugs, and it dominates their lives. The goal is to help students, and give them the opportunity to learn from mistakes, and succeed.”

SDSU has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and illegal substance consumption. There also can be consequences for an off campus ticket—for instance, a referral to Judicial Affairs. Consequences for violating these policies range from censure to expulsion “In all my time here, I’ve never seen a student expelled only for alcohol,” Wermedal said. “We give ourselves flexibility with consequences and recognize that the student watching a football game with a beer is entirely different from the student selling beer from two kegs to 54 people.”

Wermedal says that for some freshman adjusting to the freedom of college life can be a difficult process, and hopes these policies will help them make that transition. The change can be just as difficult for students who juggle the new freedom with wanting to consume alcohol responsibly as well “It’s all about integrating alcohol responsibly into your social life, without allowing it to dominate your life,” Wermedal said.