The University of Tennessee’s Safety, Environment and Education Center (S.E.E.) has received national recognition for its “Alcohol and You” online module geared to inform freshmen in First year studies 100 about alcohol and its side-effects.
The award was granted by Challenge.gov, launched in 2010, which offers opportunities to organizations that offer solutions to pertinent concerns the nation faces today. S.E.E. won third place and $10,000 for its work. “I feel super positive towards Challenge.gov. Getting the award wasn’t really anything we expected,” the Director of the S.E.E. Center, Ashley Blamey said.
“You don’t go into prevention work thinking you’re going to have a technological breakthrough or anything,” Blamey continued. “It was just really exciting.”
Victoria Klouda, a freshmen at UT who is majoring in Art History and German said, “Although I wouldn’t see myself recommending it to other people, it was informative in ways other alcohol prevention courses I had taken in the past hadn’t been.”
The S.E.E. Center’s module is different from other courses about alcohol prevention both in length and content.
“We were really looking at where we were getting information from and noticed, nationally, a lot of schools are using online modules. We noticed that a lot of those modules were pretty time intensive as well as universal,” Blamey said.
The current staff at the S.E.E. Center, who have only been together for around a year and a half, made their module shorter to about 15-20 minutes and decided to make it specific to UT.
“So that’s kind of where the idea really came from, by meeting students before they got on campus to provide information about alcohol, expectations, consequences and social and cultural norms,” said Blamey.
Some schools lack such programs. “I’ve seen a lot of friends get caught up in alcohol, and it doesn’t turn out all that good for them every time,” Jonathan Kitts, a junior at Nashville’s Art Institute majoring in graphic design said.
“I wish more schools had something like this to inform younger students about the harms of alcohol,” Kitts continued.
“Students had an incredibly positive feedback about the module,” Blamey said. “We’re going to try and use some of the specific student feedback on ways the module can be improved,” she continued.
The S.E.E. Center looks forward to helping other schools with specific modules based on its own in the future but will also take steps to improve it for UT as well.
S.E.E. offers an array of information on their website including an overall description of alcohol, statistics, and much information on other substances and health issues.
Edited by Maggie Jones