Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student campaign now national

Following the success of the LessThanUThink campaign against binge drinking over the last five years, the University of Alabama student group responsible for the program is now spreading the campaign to have an impact nationwide.

The posters, which have been seen around campus at various times since the campaign began, feature the influence of alcohol having an embarrassing impact. What students may not know is that the campaign was started by UA students and has now began to make its way across the nation.

LessThanUThink, a campaign child of the Capstone Agency, started in 2009 as a contender for the National Student Advertising Competition. The UA students in the group were charged with addressing the problem of college-age binge drinking. Though the campaign didn’t win first place in that competition, it received funding from a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., which increased the campaign’s popularity.

(See also Student-run anti-drinking campaign wins PRSSA award“)

Now the LessThanUThink campaign is in use across the nation, from California to Ohio to Connecticut. Schools across the country have reached out to the Capstone Agency in order to begin implementing the program on their own campuses. Christi Rich, a senior majoring in public relations and political science and the director of media relations for Capstone Agency, said the success of the campaign stems from the fact that it is student run.

“The really interesting thing about LessThanUThink is that it is created by students for students, so we know how to talk to each other better than someone who isn’t on the same level as us,” Rich said. “We use nontraditional methods that students can relate to.”

Rich said the purpose of the campaign is not to encourage students not to drink, but to help keep students from over-drinking.

“We are generating awareness about what it means to binge drink,” Rich said. “Once you hit that limit, that’s when you’re going to start embarrassing yourself.”

Rich said the definition of binge drinking is consuming an excessive amount and losing control. This is equal to about four or five drinks in a two hour period.

“We are raising that awareness and letting students know across the country that you can go out and have fun with your friends, but you can also still be safe,” Rich said.

(See also “LessThanUThink offers tips for spring break safety“)

Professor Teri Henley from Capstone Agency said the success of the campaign is drawing in schools from other states.

“When people are searching online for messaging for anti-binge drinking, we naturally come up,” Henley said. “The difference is that it is student-created and student-generated. The students engage in conversation because it’s students talking to students.”

Henley suggests that it is this aspect of the campaign that is pivotal in its success.

“Students are reporting that it is in fact affecting their awareness and attitudes about binge drinking and the social consequences,” Henley said.

Most of all, Henley said, it is encouraging to see the product of past UA students becoming so successful for such a great cause.

“It really speaks to the creativity of the advertising and PR students at UA,” Henley said.

(See also “It takes LessThanUThink to attract an NBA legend“)

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