NCAA CHOICES Grant Program Introduces…
Ramapo College’s NCAA CHOICES FOR CHANGE
The misuse of alcohol by college students is of great concern to the NCAA. In an effort to educate students about the risks involved with the misuse of alcohol, the NCAA has developed the NCAA CHOICES Grant Program, through the support of the Anheuser-Busch Foundation.
The NCAA CHOICES Alcohol Education Grant Program provides funding for NCAA member institutions and conferences to integrate athletics departments into campus-wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. NCAA CHOICES projects must partner athletics with other campus departments in the development and implementation of effective alcohol education projects.
Ramapo College applied for and was awarded the NCAA CHOICES Grant, naming it “CHOICES FOR CHANGE”. This initiative built upon established and effective existing AOD prevention programming that supported a sense of wellness and personal responsibility leading to healthy choices around alcohol among the entire student body lead by student athletes and Greek student mentors. Athlete and Greek student-mentor have been the foundation for several educational initiatives, implementing social programs, videos, and other awareness activities to cultivate change in their fellow student-athletes, Greeks and the entire Ramapo student body about misuse of alcohol and other drugs.
Bystander Intervention Videos
In 2018 a group of Greek members, W.I.N. Peer Educators and other volunteer students planned, designed, and implemented Bystander Intervention videos. These videos addressed issues such as over drinking, the Good Samaritan Policy, and Responsible Hosting on the Ramapo campus. The creativity of the videos and related discussions proved to be quite an effective educational tool.
In 2019, the Greek and Student-Athlete Mentors came together again to discuss Bystander Intervention issues — wanting to create new and advanced videos. The new designs were detailed with clear visions as to actual Bystander skills related to drinking and driving, sexual assault, LGBTQ domestic violence, male students seeking assistance with personal feelings of depression and anxiety, and Residential Hosting policies and effective methods to correctly decrease underage drinking.
Within the three years of the CHOICES FOR CHANGE NCAA Grant, Student-Athlete and Greek mentors have planned and executed several “Pop-Up” programs – traveling to campus areas where students often congregate, encouraging them to answer questions about the Ramapo campus alcohol and other drug policies, as well as using their Bystander Intervention videos – showing parts of a video then asking the participating student “What Would YOU do?” at a crisis point. When the student gave a correct answer they were awarded either t-shirts with NCAA/ “Think B4 U Drink” logos or the “What Would YOU Do?” t-shirts, stress balls, phone cases and/or ID holders, again with the NCAA logo.
Implementing the “Pop-Ups” has allowed both the Student-Athlete and Greek Mentors, along with the remainder of the participating student body to receive accurate and vital information, the tools with which to enact that information, and the tools to do so – at the same having fun and taking away useful prizes.
Here is a sneak peek at what the t-shirt giveaways look like….