Thompson Rivers University

Funds support healthier drinking habits

  Posted on: March 3, 2016

An investment from the provincial government will assist in helping transform the culture of drinking on campus through projects such as the Drink with Class campaign.

The initiative, co-led by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC and the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division as part of the Changing the Culture of Substance Use (CCSU) project, aims to address substance use at BC public and post-secondary institutions.

Brandon de Krieger, TRU residence services supervisor, has been involved with the CCSU group for the past two years and is spearheading the Drink with Class initiative on campus, targeting students during their first six weeks living in residence.

“It was born out of a conversation that I had at a CCSU gathering and that spark has turned the idea into the multi-layer initiative it is today,” said de Krieger. “Together our work here has proven to be very successful as, in both years, over one-third of our students reported changes in their drinking habits and over one-half reported an increased awareness due to our Drink with Class efforts.”

The CCSU gives university and college professionals a space to get together to talk about some of the trends they see on their respective campuses.

“When these great minds come together, amazing things can happen,” said de Krieger. “I think innovation is the key to continued success in supporting our students and I am excited to see what will come out of this project in the future.”

The Changing the Culture of Substance Use project is currently being implemented at 11 public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia. Project researchers are working with these institutions to create a wider range of resources and strategies, which will engage key groups such as student leaders, students in residence and those in their first year.

“We take a harm reduction approach to this issue rather than an abstention approach. We want students to enjoy themselves but in a safe and healthy manner,” said Christine Adam, dean of students. “We are thrilled to have access to this provincial funding to help us continue with these impactful partnerships.”

More information
Brandon de Krieger
Residence Services Supervisor