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Ohio University, "Bring Your Own Judgment (BYOJ) Party Patrol"

Program Topic:
Alcohol Education

Program Goals/Objectives:
The BYOJ Party Patrol is an activity that helps to build community among students who are making low-risk choices and secondly, to educate students who are currently making or contemplating making high-risk choices about responsible hosting/socializing in regards to the law, campus policy, and impairment problems, alcohol poisoning and individual factors that effect intoxication so they can make informed judgments.

Target Audience:
Students living off campus

Program Description:
The POWER (name of network affiliated group) members passed out BYOJ folders filled with low-risk hosting information, underage drinking laws, information on the city of Athens noise and trash ordinances and pizza coupons. Each house received a 12 pack of Pepsi and BYOJ bottled water. The Party Patrol took place on a Thursday night after 8:00 p.m. because this is a big night for house parties on our campus.

We hoped to raise awareness among off-campus students that choosing low-risk activities on a Thursday night is not so unusual. The free soda and pizza coupons were a way to reward those making low-risk choices and provide an opportunity for peers to have positive interactions in student neighborhoods.

Promotion and Publicity:
Posters were put up in the selected student neighborhood the week of the patrol to make residents aware.

Drinks were for free from a deal with Pepsi whom OU has a pouring rites deal with. We gave pizza coupons to the off campus houses and provided hot pizzas in the halls and we got the pizzas for $5.00 a pie from a local shop. The budget was $900.00 a year for pizza.

There were two patrols - one off campus and one on campus. For the one on campus, we collaborated with the campus police and security aids and residence life staff. For the off campus patrol, we used students from our Greek community, athletes and students from a health class on drugs in society. Our peer educators are involved in both.

The success of the program was based on reaching the goal of 500 off-campus students in the coming year and looking at the number of judicial referrals and policy violations in the student neighborhoods where the patrol visited. We are in the process of securing funds to make this an ongoing program.

We visited fifteen houses that night, approximately 100 students, and they were all positive. No one refused our information and many students said things like:

"Wow, I didn't know we could get fined for not picking up our trash!"

"Having a sign saying 'if you're under 21, don't drink,' won't protect me legally?"

"Thanks for the free soda - that's great!"