CAP aims to clarify message to students

Noah Brown

The newly formed Choices and Prevention Committee, formerly known as the Alcohol and Drug Education Taskforce, is aiming to shape the message that students hear about the choices available to them during college.

The change in name was, in a way, a sign of a new beginning for the group. Sam Jennings II became SDSU’s first dean of students last summer, and one of his responsibilities was to head the committee, also referred to as CAP. Jennings said the term “taskforce” was changed because it did not represent the group’s goals.

“A taskforce gets a charge, declares victory or failure and disbands,” Jennings said. “We are never going to win, and we’re never going to lose. Alcohol education will be forever.”

The other rationale behind the creation of CAP was to broaden the reach of the group. Alcohol and drug use are not the only problems that the committee is planning to raise awareness for around campus.

“If a student is making good choices with their general health and safety, we think that will also translate to alcohol and drug use,” Jennings said.

The committee has spent much of the semester reorganizing as a group, but they have already begun a campaign called “This is My State” that centers around three basic truths relating to alcohol. The advertisement was published in The Collegian just in time for Hobo Day.

Those three truths were:

Under 21 is under 21.

Feel like it’s time to stop? You’re right.

Violent crimes and rape involve alcohol over 90 percent of the time.

“We don’t want to use this as a scare tactic, but we want students to know that unfortunately, while under the influence of alcohol, bad things happen to good people, and frankly some good people do some really horribly stupid things by hurting another person,” Jennings said.

Jennings and the CAP committee hope to reach a middle ground when it comes to alcohol education with this campaign. They hope to avoid extreme positions that will make students tune out.

“Examples I have heard used before are ‘Alcohol is evil, abstinence is the only answer,’ or ‘If you are going to pass out, make sure you do it in a safe place,’” Jennings said. “We don’t want either of those messages to be the only ones out there for students.”

Jennings stressed that the CAP is not the alcohol education group on campus, but rather the clearinghouse and support mechanism. Residential life, HEROH and the athletics department will still be active in alcohol and drug education. Each of those groups, plus a few others, has members on CAP that help keep the message focused on the goals the committee has decided on.

CAP has 10 members that hold administrative positions from many different areas across campus and are actively trying to involve more students and faculty in their discussions that occur once every two weeks. The committee hopes to use involved students from areas like Greek Life and the Students’ Association to gauge student reaction to the campaign.