Prevention & Wellness
Florida Gulf Coast University
Howard Hall, 119
10501 FGCU Blvd South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
So you've seen the logo and the stats, but what's it all about?
86% of FGCU students have NOT driven while under the influence in the past year.
80% of FGCU students average three or FEWER drinks a week.
81% of FGCU students have NOT used marijuana in the past 30 days.
88% of FGCU students consume alcohol ONCE per WEEK or LESS.
Statistics from online CORE survey administered Fall 2015 to a random sample of FGCU students (N=413).
MOST Eagles is our Social Norms campaign. Social Norms is a mix of research-based data and marketing to share that information. Most campuses develop a Social Norms campaign to share their stats. Our campaign has grown from a poster series, a t-shirt and one promotional item, to all of those plus various promotional items and The MOST Eagles Prize Team.
The Core Survey
The CORE survey comes from the CORE Institute, the largest Alcohol and Drug (AOD) database about college student's drinking and drug use in the country. The CORE survey was established in 1989 and implemented at FGCU in 2001. Questions on this survey measure alcohol and drug usage attitudes, related events and perceptions of students. The CORE survey has been administered electronically to a random sample of student each year it has been in use at FGCU. Over 2,000 colleges and universities use the CORE survey.
All data is given to us by FGCU students. Business Technology Services (BTS) provides Prevention & Wellness with a random sample of about 50% of the student population's email addresses. After we receive this list, we send out the surveys to students electronically.
FGCU typically administers the survey in even years (i.e. 2012, 2016, etc.). The number of respondents vary per year, but the goal is for a 10% return rate. However, research suggests that a random 5% sample is sufficient to measure a population.
The CORE survey is national survey used by over 2,000 colleges and universities.
MOST Eagles is our FGCU Social Norms campaign. Social Norms campaigns share research-based data about the behaviors and decisions of the majority of students with the student population through creative advertising and promotion. Many universities utilize a Social Norms campaign, often incorporating data from the CORE survey (hyperlink to “How did you get those numbers” if possible).
Social Norms Theory states that we know most students will drink about as much as they perceive their peers drink. However, we also know that most students often overestimate how much their peers drink. Social norms accurately breaks down perceptions among students by getting the message out that most students make healthy, safe, and smart choices most of the time. With this messaging, we hope to encourage FGCU students to be a part of the positive majority.
How do you know students are not lying to you?
They could be. But we're not sure students would have a reason to lie to us. The CORE survey is completed online, so it is anonymous. Students cannot be traced or identified after they complete it.
The last time you took an anonymous online survey, did you lie on it? Probably not. Why would you need to?
How can those numbers be accurate? That’s not what I hear on campus.
We understand they seem hard to believe. Yet we know everybody likes a good story. Gross, exciting, tragic or weird, stories are what end up on the news, what you tell your friends and what you end up hearing. So when people glamorize or generalize high-risk drinking (i.e. "everybody was so wasted last night") then high-risk drinking starts to sound like the norm.
Think of it this way. If you're at a party Saturday and there are 30 people there, who do you hear about in class on Monday? The girl who fell down the stairs, the guy who punched a hole in the wall, the person who puked in the stairwell, the two people who got into a fight, etc. You just hear about those 5 people--you don't hear about the other 25 people who were there just hanging out. So you keep hearing those stories about these 5 people from any party and suddenly, the behavior of the minority start to sound like the norm because that's all anybody talks about.
What these numbers convey are the decisions and behaviors of the majority, those other 25 people at the party, to round out the story and paint a more accurate picture. When people start to pay attention to what is really happening at parties, they begin to notice that it usually is only a small number of individuals who are drinking the largest amount of alcohol and causing the most problems.
So what is Social Norms again?
For a more detailed discussion of social norms theory and the research associated with it, visit the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Issues or the National Social Norms Resource Center.
What is the CORE survey and where I can I learn more about it?
The CORE survey, from the University of Southern Illinois, was developed by the Department of Education and is published by the CORE Institute. It measures alcohol and drug usage attitudes, related events and perceptions of students and is used by universities all over the nation to gather data specific to their students. The CORE survey is completed online. To learn more about the CORE Institute, please visit http://core.siu.edu/
How can I find out more information?
For more information on Prevention & Wellness social norming efforts or to request our MOST Eagles poster series, please call us at 239-590-7733 or stop by our office, located on the right-hand side of the Wellness Center.