UNC varies strategies, slogans, keeps trying

Staff WriterMay 7, 2006 

— Jenna Bridger and Amber Featherstone recall walking into their dorm room at UNC-Chapel Hill four years ago and finding a poster.

The seniors, now both 21, are fuzzy on the details, but "it was about BAC [blood-alcohol content] or something, and it was advocating not drinking, whatever it was," Bridger said

"Obviously, we didn't post it," Featherstone added, and the friends shared a knowing laugh.

The poster was just one of the efforts by UNC-CH in recent years to discourage underage and abusive drinking.

It carried the slogan "Two out of three 0.0 BAC," referring to a study that found two-thirds of students heading home on a weekend night -- at least the ones who submitted to a Breathalyzer -- had no alcohol in their system.

That came after the "Ralph Beer -- it won't get any better than this" ad campaign, which tried to combat the Madison Avenue-driven perception that drinking is cool.

"Ralph" is slang for vomiting.

Before that was "Don't Get Wasted," a blunter media blitz acknowledging that people drink but trying to persuade them to avoid excess.

Grant money paid for all the campaigns.

The university is now turning its attention to providing alternatives, such as giving money to student groups to host late-night alcohol-free social events.

"If you look at it on a macro scale, it would be easy to say it's been unsuccessful," said Winston Crisp, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. "We continue to have issues with alcohol on campus.

"But I think there are a number of things you could look at and say we're making progress. Obviously there's a long way to go."

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service