Loyola University Chicago

Safety Net Coalition


Each year, Loyola University Chicago's Wellness Center administers the National College Health Assessment and/or the Core Alcohol and Other Drug Survey to a random sample of Loyola undergraduate students to learn about their attitudes, perceptions and behaviors concerning alcohol. Participation in the surveys is voluntary and anonymous. Survey results indicate that most students at Loyola use alcohol in moderation or not at all; however many students report consuming alcohol in ways that put them and others at greater risk for alcohol-related harm. The most recent survey results* are presented here.

  • Most students' (64%) blood-alcohol concentration was less than .08% the last time they partied.
  • Most students (66%) have four or fewer drinks when they party.
  • Most students (73%) have o-4 drinks in a typical week.
  • Nearly 40% of Loyola students do not drink in a typical week.
  • Most students (90%) drink two or fewer times per week.
  • Two-thirds of the students who drink have less than six drinks per week.
  • Most students (98%) usually use protective strategies when they party (e.g., set limits, avoid drinking games, etc.)

Loyola University Chicago is committed to helping students succeed. To this end, Loyola works with and for students to address issues that might negatively affect learning, academic success, health and safety. As the following statistics indicate, the misuse of alcohol affects all college students, whether or not they drink.

Percentages of Loyola students reporting negative consequences as a result of personal alcohol or other drug use in the past year:

Nausea and vomiting 53%
Been in trouble with police, res hall, other college authorities. 10%
Blackouts/memory loss 32%
Done something regretful 36%
Got in an argument or fight 27%
Missed a class 24%
Performed poorly on a test/project 14%
Had unprotected sex 15%
Injury to self 14%
Thought I might have a drinking or other drug problem 8%
Been taken advantage of sexually 6%

Secondhand effects, or the impact of someone else's alcohol use on others, are also of concern. Loyola students report that other students' drinking has negatively affected them in the following ways:

Interrupts studying 26%
Messes up living space 21%
Makes me feel unsafe 12%
Prevents me from enjoying events 12.5%
Interferes in other ways 22%

For more information, see Consequences of Drinking at Colleges and Universities Nationwide.

"Choice. Control. Character. Making decisions about drinking" is Loyola's initiative to prevent or reduce harm from alcohol use—physical, academic, emotional, social or legal—to the individual user and the community. The university's prevention strategy, which includes prevention education, interventions and environmental modifications, acknowledges that students face many choices about drinking and supports them in making decisions that put them in control of their well-being and build character.

Harm reduction consists of programs and policies that aim to prevent or reduce adverse consequences associated with the use of alcohol to the individual users and their communities. Harm reduction accepts that some use of alcohol is not an uncommon feature of the college experience. From a community perspective, efforts to reduce alcohol-related harms may be more practical than efforts to eliminate alcohol use entirely.

The university expects students to follow Illinois state law and Loyola's alcohol policy, and we enforce those policies. However, students are young adults who have the freedom and responsibility to make their own decisions, and they often consume alcohol even when it conflicts with the law. Our goal is to reduce alcohol-related harms by creating an environment that promotes responsibility, healthy choices, self-control and good character when making decisions regarding alcohol use.

Loyola’s Wellness Center is responsible for coordinating the university's alcohol initiative. The Wellness Center is a part of, and works closely with, the university's Safety Net Coalition, a group of staff, faculty, students and Loyola neighbors whose mission is to contribute to the building of a safer and healthier campus-community environment. The members of this multidisciplinary group bring valuable perspectives and expertise to the work of reducing harm from alcohol.

"Choice. Control. Character." provides students with a variety of alcohol-related program and resources, including:

  • Prevention education programs (e.g., AlcoholEdu for College* and peer-led programs) that help prepare students to make safe and responsible decisions in situations involving alcohol
  • Interventions for students who want fewer downsides of drinking (e.g., BASICS)
  • Referrals to connect students with alcohol-related treatment, self-help groups, on-line resources, etc.
  • Media campaigns with safety tips to reduce drinking-related harm

To learn more about these resources for students, visit Alcohol and Other Drugs.

To view a demonstration of AlcoholEdu® for College, click on this link. Under 'New User' enter the following login ID: PSNS. Click 'sign-up' and follow the on-screen prompts.

 *LUC Spring 2010 ‘College Health Assessment' (n=534 undergraduates). *LUC Spring 2012 'Core Alcohol & Other Drug Survey' (n=1,254 undergraduates). Note: LUC students' rates of alcohol use and negative consequences are similar to national averages.